Planning to Care for your aging parents

I am in my mid thirties, I have a set of parents in their mid-sixties who live hundreds of miles away. My wife is also in the same situation with her mother. The question I try to avoid asking myself, “What I will do when our parents are not able to care for themselves?”

Author:  IhealthcareUpdates Staff Writer

The number of people taking care of a aging parents has soared in the past 15 years. MetLife estimates that nearly 10 million adult children over age 50 now care for an aging parent. In 1994, only 3 percent of men and 9 percent of women helped provide basic care for a parent. In 2008, 17 percent of men and 28 percent of women provided such care, which is defined as helping with dressing, feeding, bathing, and other personal care needs. This level of help goes well beyond grocery shopping, driving parents to appointments, and helping them with financial matters. And it’s more stressful as well.

In taking the time to provide family care, MetLife said, working Americans lose an estimated $3 trillion in lifetime wages, with average losses of $324,044 for women and $283,716 for men. With these costs and other money issues in mind, I’ve started to look at various options and resources that I may take advantage of.

Several websites can provide help in identifying and getting help with care giving tasks. Check out the government’s eldercare locator. The National Council on Aging operates a benefits checklist service, and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging has extensive information on caregiving help, plus an online locator to a local office in your area.

In researching Medicare, and Medicaid options, I’ve learn that Medicare does not cover nursing home stays, Medicaid does, but its only applicable to those who have exhausted most of their funds, and assets. Only then can they apply for Medicaid-paid nursing home benefits. Other things to think about,  Do they also have a Medigap or Medicare Advantage policy? A drug plan? What are the co-pays, out-of-pocket limits, and other financial aspects of their insurance?

As I research more, I am finding there is not a direct solution. If you have siblings it maybe time to start having a conversation about long term insurance, and how each of you can chip in. Its a short term investment that may save a lot of headaches later down the line.

Do you have any other resources you would like share with our readers? What plans are you putting in placing to care for your aging parents? ihealthcare, welcome your comments and feedback on this topic. Comment below


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