The aging process can be difficult when it comes to the health and well-being of our parents. Encountering financial stressors associated with their care is like adding insult to injury.
The good news is, the adult children of aging parents are not alone in these struggles, though it often feels like it — especially if you don’t know where to go for support. However, this role reversal of children now caring for parents doesn’t need to be as alienating as it can feel.
Your team at Franklin Savings Bank can help you answer the financial questions that often come up for adult children who are trying to balance practical considerations against the emotional weight of caring for their parents.
Reach out when you’re ready to have a conversation about getting the support you need to negotiate all of the financial considerations that come with caring for elderly parents. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at what people like you are struggling with, along with a snapshot of how we can help.
A Growing Problem
Whether you’re already on the threshold of caring for elderly parents or feel like there’s ample time to worry about future steps, the fact is the population of those considered elderly is growing in this country.
Consider this current research:
“In 2019, about 16.5 percent of the American population was 65 years old or over; a figure which is expected to reach 22 percent by 2050. This is a significant increase from 1950 when only eight percent of the population was 65 or over.”
A significant increase?
We consider that an understatement considering the population aged 65 years or over has more than doubled since 1950. For context, 1950 sounds like a long time ago, but put it this way — your parents likely weren’t worrying about how to financially care for their aging parents like you are right now. Those who were would have been in the minority; whereas, today anyone worried about the financial implications associated with elderly care is in good company.
When we say financial implications, what are we talking about?
What factors are causing people like you to lose sleep at night?
Financial Factors Worrying Adult Children
More than the cost of an elderly care facility like a nursing home, the financial factors that come with caring for aging parents are varied and can include the cost of adult children not working or taking time from work, along with transportation and medical expenses.
Describing the role of caregiver to an elderly parent or parents, financial planner Marguerita Cheng tells Policygenius, “It’s a second full-time position.”
We all know that a full-time job takes an average of 40 hours per week to complete. Add a second one and you’re committed to approximately 80 hours each week — time that is spent away from other priorities, like your own personal care, whether that means time at the gym, or time reading, gardening, or any other hobby you enjoy. That time is valuable.
Perhaps even more valuable is the lost time spent with your children, whether that means missing soccer games, school plays, or conversations around the dinner table.
In other words, the expenses are both tangible and intangible.
A Barrage of Questions
The Family Caregiver Alliance has published five common questions that we hear echoed by many of our customers:
- Is the home the best place for the care receiver to be?
- Is it more expensive to pay for assisted living, or is it more expensive to hire a caregiver at home?
- If I, as an adult child, provide the care, can I spend some of my parent’s money on hiring substitute or respite help so I can get a break from time to time?
- Would it be better for my parents to pay me to be the caregiver, or is it better to hire from outside?
- If we want to hire someone, should it be through an agency or should we hire privately?
As if these questions weren’t weighty enough, the stakes feel even higher and the answers even more elusive when you are not the sole decision-maker.
A Case of Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
More often than not, conversations about caring for an aging parent involve not just an adult child’s siblings, but also the spouses or significant others of those siblings. Regardless of motive, everyone will have an opinion about the “best” course of action relative to aging parental care; this is especially true when money is on the table.
Inevitably, this leads to squabbling at best. Picking sides, dredging up past hurts or perceived injustices, and even criticizing the parent’s lack of financial planning or preparedness are also hazards to avoid. The potential to fracture a relationship that had been strong before these conversations is very high. It’s also completely unnecessary and avoidable.
While there are plenty of strategies and sound advice for caregiving with your siblings, the very best suggestion when it comes to the financial implications, in our opinion, requires enlisting the help of a professional.
Do not go it alone (or with squabbling siblings!), reach out to our team for strategic support you can trust. We’ve seen it all and, in many cases, we’ve been there ourselves.
Contact us for the partners you need to arrange the best possible financial care for your parents and, by extension, yourself.