Approximately one in five American adults care for a family member. The vast majority of these are adult children providing financial or physical support for a parent or grandparent. If you have found yourself in the situation, you may be wondering how, exactly, to make the best decisions for a loved one in decline. The pandemic hasn’t made that any easier, but there are a few steps that you can take to circumvent major issues.
Here are a few examples, brought to you by Jules Financial Enterprise.
Have the tough conversations early.
One of the greatest challenges that children/caregivers face is talking to their older parents or grandparents about their abilities to care for themselves. However, you do have to have these tough conversations so that everyone is on the same page. Caring.com explains these range from talking about driving safety to whether they have a plan for long-term care. Although it’s uncomfortable, try to stay positive and upbeat. It can help you start the conversation weeks early with a few icebreakers that gently probe into your parent or parents’ state of mind.
Decide between assisted living and home care.
If you ultimately decide that it’s time to make new arrangements for your elderly loved one, your next step is to determine whether they can handle home care or if assisted or independent living is a better choice. Home care might include a nurse, physical therapist, or housekeeper to help with medical or practical needs. They may come daily or on a predetermined schedule a few times each week. Assisted/independent living means that your loved one would need to move from their home onto a campus designed especially for seniors. The choice between assisted and independent living depends on their abilities, including whether they can safely maintain mobility and upkeep a daily medication schedule.
Decide on how to pay for their care needs.
Assisted living can run as high as $9,266 per month, according to the Paying for Senior Care website. However, in most cases, you can expect that senior housing accommodations will cost about $4,000 per month, or $48,000 per year.
If your senior loved one does not have Social Security or savings to cover this expense, it may be time to look into selling their home to supplement their income. While most homes in the Boynton Beach area continue to sell rather quickly, the pandemic has made the market unpredictable in many parts of the country. Do your research first, and make a point to talk to a realtor about selling. You can also have an appraisal done on the property to get a better idea of how much equity is available should you need to sell.
Budget for yourself if you will take on a financial burden.
Even if your parent or grandparent has some money aside or equity in their home, you may find yourself out of pocket for many of their expenses. To better care for them and yourself, consider hiring Jules Financial Enterprise as your budgetary advisor so that you can make the most of your money and theirs.
Attain power of attorney.
No matter your senior loved one’s current state of mind or physical health, you will also want to attain a durable power of attorney. Kindred Hospitals explains that a durable power of attorney grants you the legal authority to make financial and decisions and other choices on behalf of your loved one. Unlike a general power of attorney, a durable power of attorney does not automatically get terminated if your loved one becomes incapacitated. This is an important distinction; having a durable power of attorney in place means that you will not have to go through a potentially lengthy process to make decisions if your parent or grandparent suffers a stroke, heart attack, or another issue that might impede their ability to make their own decisions.
This is not a full guide on how to make decisions on behalf of your loved one. But taking certain steps, such as knowing where the money will come from, having legal protections in place, and talking about future issues early, will put you in a better position when the time comes.
Visit the Author’s Website Here: riseupforcaregivers.org