Multi-generational households are becoming the new (or maybe it is really old) in vogue way to handle the care of aging parents. And we are all for it so long as you consider the implications and set your family up for success.
With Mom or Dad moving in, you can anticipate some extra financial and emotional expenses as well. It is difficult to know what to expect, and you might face costs that you did not see coming. Having an elderly parent move in with you is a major life event that requires financial and emotional preparation. Here are some unexpected costs of caring for elderly parents to get you thinking about what lies ahead, if you decide to move mom or dad into your home.
Many people do not think about the costly modifications that they may need to make their home accessible for an elderly parent. If your parent is living with you long-term, you will want to make him or her comfortable. This 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 him or her 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. Just remember to budget for the extra expense.
In-home care can be a significant expense. Unless you are able to take time away from your busy day, your elderly parent may likely need the additional care. Long-term care insurance, if your parent has a policy, can cover some or all of the costs. You might also be able to get assistance from certain programs such as Medicaid, Veteran’s Affairs (if either parent is a veteran), 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 his or her day at home. You should expect such extra expenses as increased heat and electricity bills, special foods, and personal care products. Remember that elderly parents have special needs, and those needs can be expensive.
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. For certain conditions, these costs can quickly add up.
As your parent ages, his or her needs will change. 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.
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 is not something to be afraid of, so long as you have the right support. On the contrary, it can be a great opportunity to heal inter-generational wounds that would otherwise get passed on to you and your children and their children.
Caring for an elderly parent can result in unexpected expenses and unexpected benefits, as well. Now that they have become dependent on you, you might also need to consider making changes to your insurance policies or revising your estate plan. If you are ready to take the step of officially becoming caregiver for mom or dad, meet with us for guidance.
As your Life & Legacy Attorney, we can help you prepare for the unexpected costs (and reap all the benefits) of caring for an elderly parent. We begin all planning with a Family Wealth Planning Session to get to know you, what is important to you, and to support you to make the most informed, educated and empowered decisions possible for yourself and the people you love. Before the session, we will send you a Family Wealth Inventory and Assessment to complete that will get you thinking about what you own, what’s most important to you, and what you can do to ensure your entire family is taken care of.
This article is a service of Reflections Life Planning LLC, 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 have 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.