Many adult children are opting to have their aging parents live with them instead of moving them into an expensive assisted living facility or a similar community. However, there are financial and emotional costs associated with this decision, which is why having an elderly parent move in with you is a major life event that requires preparation. Here are some unexpected costs of caring for elderly parents to get you thinking about what may lie ahead.
If your parent is living with you long-term, you will want to make them comfortable which might entail adding a new addition to your home, creating a private living space out of a shared area, making accommodations for single-level living if your parent cannot navigate the stairs, or adding mobility adaptations such as a walk-in bath or chair lifts.
Lost Work Productivity
Moving your elderly parent in, helping them get acquainted with the area, and checking out activities can all eat into your work week. Expect further loss of productivity if you have to take your parent to run errands, to medical appointments, or to therapy sessions. You can look into senior transportation services if you are unable to take time off from work but remember to budget for the extra expense.
In-home care can be a significant expense, but unless you are able to take time away from your busy day, your elderly parent might need it. Long-term care insurance will sometimes cover some or all of the costs, and you might be able to get assistance from certain programs through the VA or other community organizations.
Miscellaneous Household Expenses
The costs of simply having another household member can be unexpectedly high, especially if that member spends most of their day at home. You should expect increased heating, water, and electricity bills, as well as paying more for special foods and personal care products.
Even with insurance, your parent might have steep out of pocket costs for co-pays, prescriptions, mobility aids, supplements, vitamins, and other uninsured medical expenses. Furthermore, as your parent ages, their needs will change, too. These changing needs can result in unexpected long-term costs. When your parent’s retirement funds are exhausted or when they face deteriorating health, you might have to consider the staggering costs of long-term care in an assisted living facility or nursing home in addition to the medical bills.
Moving mom or dad into your home could bring up all of the unresolved emotional issues that have not yet been addressed within your family dynamic. This isn’t something to be afraid of, so long as you have the right support. On the contrary, it can be a great opportunity to heal wounds that would otherwise get passed on to you and your children and grandchildren.
However, even as unexpected expenses will crop up, so will unexpected benefits. As your Personal Family Lawyer®, we can help you prepare for the unexpected costs and reap the benefits of caring for an elderly parent. Furthermore, with your parent becoming more or less dependent upon you, you might need to consider updating your insurance policies and estate plan to fit your new circumstances. Contact us today to get started.
This article is a service of Levi Alexander, Personal Family Lawyer®. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
Photo by Kampus Production: https://www.pexels.com/photo/elderly-man-in-striped-shirt-talking-to-man-in-blue-shirt-with-towel-on-shoulder-in-the-kitchen-8507641/