This post is from guest author Rob Lanterman.
In the great circle of life, caretaker roles tend to reverse as a human gets older. Often, the children they once raised up become the ones taking care of them.
In this world of strange reverse parenting, those charged with taking care of their parents do so knowing the risks of increased financial and emotional stress. See, not only do they have to provide for their own needs in addition to those of their parents, but many of them have kids themselves to look after.
As your parent or loved one gets older and starts to require more care, you may feel discouraged, and no reasonable person would blame you. Nobody can tell you this is easy, but we hope to share some tips that will at least help with the financial aspect. Here are some options you may not have thought about when it comes to taking care of your elderly parent.
Adult Day Care
There is such a thing as “adult day care.” If you cannot afford it or do not see the need for a nursing home or assisted living community, this may be the most affordable option as well as a positive one.
Adult day care is exactly what it sounds like — a facility where seniors interact with other seniors and are aided in their nutritional, social, athletic, and other everyday living activities.
It’s usually less than $80 per day, which you will come to find is incredibly low-cost when it comes to elderly care.
Where You Going?
It should be emphasized, though it commonly is not, that where you are located is a very important factor in medical health, especially for elderly seniors. Private nursing homes can cost around $85,000 more in Connecticut than they do in Georgia for instance.
To dive even further into this concept, sometimes the best treatments are only found in certain parts of the world. For instance, one surgery can be over $100K in the United States and just a measly $13K in Belgium — including travel costs from the United States. This is commonly referred to as “medical tourism.” The idea behind medical tourism is that you can travel for medical treatment, whether that means nationally or internationally, and get a better deal, medically and financially.
Whether or not you ultimately decide to travel or stay local, it’s important to be well informed about your local restrictions financially and where may be a better option in this crazy world.
Even if you do choose to have professionals watching your parent, it’s always a good thing to go and visit them and make sure they’re doing okay yourself. Most of us are aware of some of the atrocities that go down between inpatient nursing home staff and those they’ve pledged to take care of, but regardless of whether that’s happening or not, your parents will appreciate you checking in. In any case, frequent visiting will let you know sooner than later if the facility you’ve chosen is working well for your parents.
However, beyond in-person check ups, financial monitoring may be necessary as well. Many of us have had the experience of being informed by an elderly family member that the IRS called for a donation or that they won an all expenses paid trip with a catch to it, and have had to inform them they’re being scanned. Keeping a loved one’s finances secure may not be comfortable for you, but it’s necessary. If they cannot take care of themselves in day to day life then that may be an indicator that they cannot handle their own finances.
There are also many resources online that are free and can help you keep an eye out for those wishing to scam. You do not want your loved one being taken advantage of, but it’s also understandable that they may not want you taking care of these matters for them. Every situation is different, so just keep your eyes peeled and cross that bridge when you get there.
What is your experience taking care of the elderly family members you love? Let me know via Twitter @Robolitious.