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Tips to Avoid Financial Strain with Aging Parents

Caring for aging parents is an emotionally taxing experience for their children. In addition to the emotional strain, financial strain can also be experienced. However, there are some easy steps that can help to reduce this strain and prepare for the future financially.

Work out an Arrangement with Siblings

As a person’s parents get to an age where they may begin to need additional care, the children of the couple need to discuss what they could be facing. Some questions to consider include who will care for them, if any of the children will quit work, and what care-giving will work best for the family.
If one of the siblings decides that they will quit work to take care of their parents, everyone should agree on a monetary value for that care and what that person should receive. It may be beneficial for the individual to do this, especially if they have children that require day care while they are at work. It may cost less and benefit the family for one parent to stop working to take care of both children and the aging parents.

Discuss the situation with parents. A discussion about aging is often an awkward situation, and many people are in denial about it. This can prevent conversations between parents and children from occurring. A simple way to bring it up would be to ask if the parents feel secure about their finances and if they have thought about their future. This discussion should occur before a crisis occurs so that children know how to deal with potential issues.

Purchase Medications in Bulk

The costs of prescription medications can cause extreme financial strain on the children that are caring for aging parents. One way to ease this strain is to buy these medications online in bulk. Online pharmacies often offer discounted prices, especially when a customer orders mass quantities. Most online pharmaceutical companies also allow for prescriptions to be submitted and filled within 90 days of being written.

Discuss and Understand Costs

When dealing with elderly parents, it is essential for children to understand the costs associated with their care. It is crucial for a person to know what Medicare covers and what things it does not. Many children are shocked to discover that this program does not pay for many expenses, including in-home care.

Costs can add up quickly when taking care of aging parents. The Department of Health and Human Services put out data from 2008 stating that it cost $29 an hour for the services of a home health aide. Additionally, it costs $59 a day for care within an adult day center, and it can cost over $3,000 a month for a unit in an assisted-living facility. These costs often make it more financially reasonable to have the parent live with a child, even though this is increasingly difficult when parents suffer from dementia or are Alzheimer patients.

It may also be beneficial for the child to keep a spreadsheet or documentation of all the medical visits their parents attend and procedures that were done. Often there are a large amount of unnecessary charges, prescriptions, and procedures that are ordered. These costs add up quickly and significantly contribute to the financial burden of caring for an aging parent. Every questionable charge should be brought up.

There are also many government programs designed to aid seniors and their families financially that can be found using different resources on the internet and should be carefully and thoroughly researched and explored.

Plan for Parents to Live Long Lives

Financial plans should be created under the expectation that parents will live well past the life expectancy. This means that a financial adviser should structure the investment portfolio of aging parents accordingly. This could also include fixing up the homes of the aging parents so that they can remain their longer, which could ease some of the financial stress on children. These types of changes that are meant to accommodate individuals with physical disabilities are also deductible when tax time rolls around.

About the Author

TomTom Bills is a Realtor/Broker with TBillshomes.com as well as the President of T. Bills Construction Co. since 1979. Tom is dedicated to helping people with buying, selling, or remodeling their homes and properties in the best way possible for each families unique needs. Read more about Why Tom and his wife Barb started In-LawSuite here. Find him on Facebook and TwitterView all posts by Tom →

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