Taking care of your elderly parents and yourself can be a tough balancing act.
You care for your parents the best you can, but it's hard to care for them when you are having trouble caring for yourself.
When you care for your parents, it's easy to overboard. You want to spoil your elderly parents the same way they did you. But unless you're a multi-millionaire, you can't afford to do that.
In the US, the cost of homecare for seniors is trending upward, which means that seniors who used to rely on others for their care are now relying more and more on their children.
Far from being cold or heartless, keeping a close eye on both your finances is one of the most caring things you can do for your family. Caring for seniors is difficult enough on its own. Doing so while caring for your finances involves a lot of diligent planning and hard work.
Take heart, though. The work you put in will not only help your elderly parents through their golden years but also serve as an example to your children and grandchildren down the line.
In this article, we walk you through five things to consider when caring for your aging parents while also caring for your own finances.
You and your parents have several options when it comes to their residence.
Most elderly parents have a strong opinion about where they want to age. Be sure to consider your parents' feelings and preferences before you make a decision.
If they want to age in place, consider what level of support is needed for them to do so comfortably. At Home Senior Care Services are available for those who want to live at home but still need help from time to time.
If your elderly parents need more substantial assistance, look into assisted living or nursing homes near you where they can receive this help around the clock.
Starting a dialogue with your parents about their long-term aging plans might be awkward but it's an important first step.
After you settle on a plan, start organizing your parents' paperwork and make sure it is accessible to both of you in case either one of them becomes incapacitated someday.
Make sure everything is easy to find. Having one place where you can easily access all the information about your parents' spending and income will help everyone involved stay better organized and on top of things.
If your parents have a living will, estate plan and power of attorney in place already, that's great! If not, help them get these crucial documents into order as soon as possible.
A budget is especially important if there's more than just one caregiver taking on the financial burden.
Caring for your parents doesn't mean doing everything yourself and keeping them in the dark about what is going on with their money.
If your parents aren't ready to open up about the family finances yet, work with them on creating a simple monthly household budget based on their income and expenses so you have something in writing that everyone agrees upon.
Whatever method works best for everyone is ultimately what matters most.
Working with your parents on a budget will help you keep track of their expenses. If they have trouble keeping track, it might be time to look into Assisted Living or Home Care Services so someone can handle these things for them going forward.
Taxes are always a headache, especially for elderly parents. Now imagine how stressful it can be when you're filing their taxes with them and filling out the paperwork on top of taking care of yourself.
Here's an easy way to tell if your parents need help with their taxes: If they ask for your help or advice on any type of taxes, take the lead and talk to them about tax planning.
If you do your own taxes and want to help your parents with theirs, it's crucial to keep things organized. Handling one set of taxes might be easy for you but it can be a nightmare once you start handling your parents' taxes on top.
Tools for tax planning can be helpful to streamline this process if you want to do it yourself, or you can hire a trusted accountant to do it for you.
Many employers offer family caregiver benefits to help their employees care for elderly parents.
You might be entitled to paid leave, tax breaks, and other financial advantages that can ease the strain on your own finances when caring for your elderly parents.
Don't forget to look into these benefits even if you are planning on having a third party help with the financial responsibilities.
Ask your HR department to help you understand what your company offers to help caregivers.
At the end of the day, your parents are still people with their own wants and needs.
Make sure you're paying attention to what your parents want and prioritize it over anything else if possible. Your main priority is for your parents to live long, fulfilling lives everything else is secondary to that.
The six tips we mentioned above can help you plan for the future as well as take care of your parents now. It's so important that we all do our best to ensure they have the resources and opportunity to continue living their best lives well into their golden years