Your mom has poured so much into you over the years. Now, you see that she is not quite as independent as she used to be, so she’ll need some extra helping hands. And you couldn’t be more honored to give it to her.
If you’re like 10% of people between the ages of 60 and 69 whose parents are still living, you may decide to serve as your mother’s personal caregiver. Research shows that 12% of people ages 70 and older serve as caregivers for their aging parents.
However, if you are not in a position to serve as a caregiver, you can hire a professional caregiver to care for your parent. Or, you can trust your mother’s care to an assisted living facility or nursing home.
No matter which route you choose, it is critical that you understand what factors to consider when caring for aging parents. Ensure that you are prepared for the experience by taking into consideration these three factors.
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1. The Home Environment
One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to caring for aging parents is where your parent will live.
Many older individuals have resided in their neighborhoods for extensive periods of time. As a result, they might be reluctant to relocate to new, smaller homes in different locations. Likewise, they might not be interested in moving to retirement communities.
In this situation, it is critical that you evaluate their living situation to determine how best to make their current house more comfortable for them both now and in the future.
Some changes you make to their current home might be minor. For instance, you could install better lighting or handrails.
However, other changes may be more complicated and costlier. These include, for example, moving their master bedroom to the home’s ground floor and buying long term hospital beds from sondercare.com, or installing a chairlift. You could also hire professional cleaning services to help your parent with regular housekeeping.
2. Medical Care Costs
Another important factor to keep in mind as you seek to take care of your aging parents is their medical care costs. Do you know what medical insurance coverage they have? Will they need more coverage?
For instance, perhaps Medicare will be enough to cover your mom’s needs. If not, they should also buy Medigap insurance — a private policy that will cover many costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Also, look into helping your parents to buy long-term care insurance. This will help your parents to more easily cover extended nursing home or custodial care in the future, if necessary.
3. Estate Planning
Finally, make sure that your aging parent has an estate plan in place.
This type of plan can help them to make sure that their assets end up in the intended hands should they pass away. In addition, a well-thought-out plan can help them to avoid probate and minimize the estate taxes they pay.
As part of the estate planning process, your aging parent should also take the necessary steps to plan a funeral. An estate planning attorney can help both you and your parent to navigate this process so that you both are on the same page regarding your parent’s future funeral plans.
Care for Your Aging Parents with Confidence
Caring for your aging parents is a noble endeavor. However, if you’re not prepared for this stage of your life, you may drop the ball in several core areas that affect your parents’ health and overall wellbeing.
Fortunately, taking into consideration several factors can help you to make the best decisions for your aging parents. Keep in mind the above-listed considerations for caring for aging parents as you seek the best solution for keeping your aging mom or dad healthy and happy in the years ahead.
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