When ailing parents can no longer live in their home, elder experts say boomers can counter the emotional and financial upheaval by following a simple series of steps. The first of these on everyones list is to talk about that possibility and to talk early.
Those discussions, along with the health of a parent, may make it easier to decide whether a parent should move in with a child or is better served at an assisted living facility, these experts maintain.
A discussion may help a boomer understand whether a parent wants to move into a home environment or a senior facility with “their own territory and their own friends,” says Dolores Misasi, a certified financial planner in Illinois. If a parent is open to it, take them to a couple of facilities when it first becomes a possibility, even if it is one or two years down the road, she says.
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And make sure that they are part of the decision, she continues. “No matter how childlike they become, they do not want to be treated as children. They want to be treated as adults.”
Several factors will help determine whether to bring a parent into ones home or not, Misasi adds.
The first, she says, is whether there is someone in the home to care for them. That caregiver should be good with an older person, she adds. As a case in point, Misasi says her daughter-in-law is a nurse with a very caring personality. “If it ever reaches that point, thats where Im moving,” she states.
If a parent moves in and everything is wonderful, it still disrupts life, Misasi says. “Some are very good at handling it and others are not.”
Another important factor, says Dorothy Doyle, a certified financial planner from Florida, is finances. Among the questions that need to be asked are how much money they have, whether the parents have long term care insurance, and whether it covers home care, says Doyle.
If a parent has assets, she says, those assets could be used to allay costs, but it really depends on the family. Her mother, who is 81, and her father, 91, are both still active, says Doyle. But if they ever needed to leave their home and move in with a child, she says, there are several siblings who would vie to take them.
Even in such cases, other experts suggest an open talk sooner rather than later.