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Rs holistic help for caregivers

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Rs holistic help for caregivers

  1. 1. ADVISOR/CLIENT EDUCATION BRIEFHolistic Help for Caregivers of Aging ParentsBy  Elaine  Floyd,  CFP®An integrative caregiving plan can help you contain costs and takeadvantage of the various planning and health care resourcesavailable. Reprint  Licensee:  The wild card in any financial plan is the length andseverity of the aging process. Longevity coupled Russell A. Smith, CLU, ChFC, CFP.with incapacity can decimate a family’s resources, President & CEOforcing adult children to not only forego theirinheritance but also contribute to their parents’ Torimax Financial Group, Inc.support to the extent that their own retirement 800-786-3720security may be in jeopardy. rsmith@torimax.comLong-term care insurance can help mitigate some ofthe risks of aging, but not until the insured is unableto perform two of the six specific activities of dailyliving-bathing, dressing, eating, transferring frombed to chair, toileting, and continence-or hassufficient cognitive impairment that it affects theperson’s health and safety.Older people who simply need help getting todoctor’s appointments, remembering to takemedications, fixing meals, shopping, cleaning andmaintaining the house, paying bills, opening jars,and myriad other daily challenges do not qualifyfor benefits under a long-term care insurance policy.But their needs are no less real.While aging parents become dependent on adultchildren, finanical planning becomes more entwined.Now there are two families (or more, if there aresiblings) all working toward the same goal of makingsure the parents’ need are met without compromisingthe adult children’s-and their children’s-financialwell-being. Although each family may want tocontinue to keep their finances separate, holisticCopyright  ©  2011  by  Annexus/Horsesmouth,  LLC.    All  Rights  Reserved.License  #:  HMANX2011A |1
  2. 2. planning may allow resources to be shared or and saving for their own retirement may haveconserved for the benefit of everyone. to sort out their priorities. How much help can they realistically provide to their parents? HowThe goal in any integrative financial plan-providing much do they know about their parents’all family members agree--is to dissolve the finances and the resources available? Whatboundaries between what belongs to the parents changes are they willing to make in their livesand what belongs to the children and consider to help their parents? These are all toughstrategies that build and conserve resources for all. questions that should be addressed as early as possible.Assemble resources Living arrangementsAccording to alandmark national study, caregivers oftenunderestimate the time required for caregiving Housing options for older parents who are basicallyand the impact of their obligations on their work. healthy but need help with certain activities dueThey go into it providing only a small amount of to fraility or forgetfulness include: (1) staying incare and then gradually take on more and more their own home, (2) living with their children, orresponsibilty, incurring significant losses in (3) moving to an assisted-living facility.career development, salary and retirement income,and substantial out-of-pocket expenses. Each family must decide for itself which option is best based on costs and quality of life for all. CostsAnother study found that caregivers spent an may include modifications to either the parents’ oraverage of more than $12,000 per year on direct the children’s home to enable the parents to getexpenses associated with caregiving. Wealthy around safely, plus the cost of bringing in outsidepeople may be able to absorb such expenses, housekeepers or caregivers to the extenet needed.but over time they can represent a significant Compare these costs with the cost of an assisted-drain on resources. This is why it is important to living facility. Then decide which arrangementaddress the whole family’s needs whenever a would work out best for everyone. Some childrencaregiving situation arises. may want their parents close by, even under the same roof, while others would find such anIdeally, you’ll want to begin thinking about this arrangement too disruptive.while everyone is still active and healthy so youcan emphasize the importance of planning ahead. Providing careIt is never too soon to start assembling resources Regardless of where the parents live, some formso you will be ready to help your parents when the of care will need to be provided, such as cleaning,time comes. cooking, paying bills, shopping, transportation to medical appointments, and so on.Planning aheadAccording to a USA Today/ABC News/Gallup Poll, Start by determining the exact needs of the41% of baby boomers who have a living parent, are parents who should provide the needed services,providing personal care, financial assistance, or both. a family member or an outside paid caregiver.Of those boomers who are not providing care for Consider the toll on the adult children who work-parents now, 37% think they will someday. And about if they must take unpaid time off, it may be morehalf of them say they are concerned about their cost-effective to hire someone to perform certainability to do so. services such as transportation or housekeeping. On the other hand, some adult children haveBoomers who are still putting kids through college difficulty turning over any form of caregiving to an outsider. Some 5% of men and 7% of women Copyright  ©  2011  by  Annexus/Horsesmouth,  LLC.    All  Rights  Reserved.2 | License  #:  HMANX2011A License  #:  HMANX2011A
  3. 3. quit their jobs to care for aging parents, according to a recent study. Before making any moves that could threaten your own future financial security, make sure to analyze the long-term consequences of the various options and try to strike a balance between financial and emotional considerations. The occasion of a parent needing help gives families of all means an opportunity to come together and integrate their financial and life plans for the benefit of all. You may wish to obtain professional advice to help evaluate everyone’s overall resources and determine who will be responsible for what costs. A professional can help map out a strategy that makes sense from a tax- and estate-planning standpoint. Resources Family Caregiving 101 (www.familycaregiving101.org) Elder Issues (www.elderissues.com) Home Modifications from the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence (www.homemods.org) Benefits Checkup (www.benefitscheckup.org) Healthfinder (www.healthfinder.gov) National Family Caregivers Association (nfcacares.org)Copyright  ©  2011  by  Annexus/Horsesmouth,  LLC.    All  Rights  Reserved.License  #:  HMANX2011A |3