Caring for Aging Parents

a young woman smiling and putting her arm around the shoulders of an elderly womanIt can be an uncomfortable conversation, and it’s one none of us what to have.  However, discussing financial, legal and long-term care issues with your parents is important for everyone’s sake.  Knowing what aging parents want and having the needed legal documentation available (in case they become incapacitated or unable to live alone) can make all the difference in carrying out their wishes.

When you work with a Money Coach, you can get expert guidance on how to handle those conversations and how to make decisions about caregiving with regards to family finances.  Until then, here are some helpful preparation tips for this transition in life.

Start Early & Make a List

  • Start the conversation early – hopefully, while parents are in good health
  • Include family members and share responsibilities
  • Make a list of all items that need to be handled
  • Consider sharing the list with parents and check the boxes as you complete them

Caregiving

  • Do your parents wish to stay at home or live in a facility?  What level of care may be needed?
  • Familiarize yourself with the costs of each option and how they will be funded
  • Thinking about taking on the caregiving yourself?  Consider how that will impact your finances and lifestyle

Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

  • Play a proactive role!  Aging parents often feel like they will be a burden and don’t want to ask for help
  • Discuss legal and long-term care options like estate planning, a living will, a trust, power of attorney and health care proxies
  • Discuss their financial situation, and ask for records and contacts for financial accounts, in case parents become incapacitated

Familiarize Yourself with the Benefits Available

  • Get to know their copays, costs, and out-of-pocket limits for necessary prescriptions
  • Learn what is and is not covered through Medicare, Medicaid and any gap policies your parents have
  • If there are gaps in coverage that need to be addressed, research options and related costs

Finally, Help Your Parents, but Don’t Neglect Your Own Finances

It’s not easy to take care of someone and also take care of yourself.  If you need to help your parents financially, be sure to manage your own expenses and understand the options to avoid any damage.  Your Money Coach can help you organize your finances, create a plan that includes support for family members while keeping other financial goals in mind, and prep you for money conversations with loved ones.  Call 888-724-2326 today to get started.