Neil’s father took early retirement at 62 years. On his 65th birthday, he disclosed to Neil, his only child, that he had Power of Attorney plans (POA) for his senior care. This came as a shock to Neil, who up until then had never considered planning ahead of his father’s senior living. So, at 75 years, when his father was diagnosed with dementia, the senior care plans and instructions came in handy.
Like the Neils, not every family is lucky to have well-laid arrangements around senior care. At the same time, the number of older people is increasing. Today, people live longer, and their children and family have to incur the cost of senior care. For example, your elderly parent may require someone to bathe and dress. They may also need help with feeding, moving around, and cleaning after their mess. All these are an added cost to the myriad of health conditions you might be managing.
To avoid digging a hole into your pockets as the caregiver, you need a comprehensive financial plan to cover the cost of senior care. Similarly, if you’re heading to your senior years and you’re looking to plan for your care, this article will be helpful. Keep reading to learn more on things to consider when financially planning for caregiving at old age.
1.The Senior’s Financial Situation
People tend to tiptoe around conversations concerning the financial situation of the elderly. However, ignoring the elephant in the room won’t make it disappear. Whether rich or poor, you must have this conversation with your senior loved one. Ask about their financial situation. Do they have any trust and will? Is there any personal arrangement concerning their caregiving? For example, if your parent has a trust but no plan for caregiving, you could set aside some of the trust money to cover their senior care cost.
Determining their financial situation helps you understand the kind of care you can provide and how much you may have to chip in or not. That said, note that the best way to rip off from this conversation is to have it early. The senior should be in the right state of mind to recall all their wealth, pensions, social security benefits, care policies, living expenses, health costs, among other critical information that inform their financial capabilities.
2.Where Will They Live?
Everybody would like to honor their parents or loved ones as they age. One of the ways of honoring them is finding out what they want. As you make plans for their senior care, identify where they would like to live. Most seniors prefer spending their old age with family. If this is the case, you may have to hire a personal caregiver. Before that, find out if the seniors have any plans, such as a retirement house.
Hiring a personal caregiver can be quite expensive. The affordable alternative is taking your senior to a home. The associated cost of the different caregiving methods is why you need to establish where your parent will live. Once you have that in mind, all other financial plans will be based on either a home or a personal caregiver.
The thing about life is, it moves on. It won’t wait for you to sort your elderly parent or finally figure out their caregiving. Your utility bills will accumulate, your kids will need school fees, you may get sick and require medical attention, rent will be due, and life will take its course. That’s why you must take into your account your daily needs before sinking into the needs of your loved ones.
Establishing your needs will help you set your finances right. You’ll determine if you can afford your parents’ senior care. If not, you’ll make informed decisions to look for solutions. Other than that, identifying your needs can help you establish if you can be the primary caregiver. If yes, you can begin preparing yourself emotionally, mentally, and financially.
4.Associated Health Cost
As aforementioned, old age comes with its share of health complications. Seniors tend to suffer from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and depression, to name a few.
Most of these diseases can only be managed and not treated. That means you need a constant supply of medication and frequent doctor visits. Therefore, consider their health status as you plan on your senior care.
What illness do they suffer from? Do they have any insurance policy to cover their health? Where do you plan on sourcing their medication? How much will it cost? Who will administer it? How close to the doctor is the home? These are some of the questions you’ll have to answer.
Additionally, if your loved one isn’t already suffering from these diseases, it’s recommended that you anticipate them. It’ll help you cover their cost ahead. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared.
5.The Home They Will Stay
If you settle for a home for the elderly after considering the four things above, you need to identify which home agency. There are different types of homes. For example, some homes offer care and medical attention while others only provide care. The one that offers medical and caregiving may be more expensive than the latter. You, therefore, have to choose the type of home that best fits our senior’s needs.
Once you have identified the type, consider other factors like proximity to your home. If you would like to visit your elderly parent often, you may feel a home that’s closer home. You can also consider factors like the quality of services. Experts recommend conducting interviews with the home care agencies ahead of hiring them. It’ll help you determine their level of expertise. Alternately, you can visit the home to learn more about how it operates.
Last but not least, consider the cost of the different homes. Pick a home that offers quality service while still working within your budget.
To Sum It Up
By considering the five things listed above, you’re on the right track of financially planning for a seamless experience during your loved ones’ golden years.