Author Topic: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?  (Read 11496 times)

Jamie

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Karma: +10/-1
Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« on: August 09, 2018, 11:44:33 PM »
I haven't see my parents very often since I graduated from college. We get along and stay in touch over email and phone calls here and there, but I don't live close by. They're getting into their 70s and although they're still independent now I know that won't last forever. It's scary to think about them getting old and immobile so I often just push it out of my mind. Sounds terrible, I know.

When did you start worrying about your parents getting older? How did you handle it all? When did you start getting involved - did you have any major lifestyle adjustments? thanks

Snow

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2018, 07:20:58 PM »
You're not alone my friend. Aging parents is tough. My brother lives within a couple hours from our parents so he does more visiting and helping out than me. My wife and I do a lot for her parents who are about 30 minutes from us. We help with doctor appointments sometimes and fixing things around the house. Being within driving distance helps a lot for us. We haven't had any major lifestyle adjustments yet, but I'm sure we will down the road. Most likely more back and forth trips and probably helping with finding a nurse or adult daycare. It's worth talking to your parents to see if they're minds are set on staying where they are as they age or if they'd be up for moving closer to you or to an assisted living facility. Tough conversations though, I know!

Sydney

  • Daimyo, Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 40
  • Karma: +19/-0
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2018, 04:47:14 PM »
I live pretty far from my parents too and they're divorced. They both live alone so that definitely complicates things for me. Fortunately my parents are still able to be independent and try to stay active, which is really good. Neither of them wants to move and I don't want to relocate to where they are in the future, so it's going to be tough when the time comes when they can no longer safely live alone anymore.

I admit it's something I don't like to think about either so I know how you feel Jamie! If the time comes, I plan to offer to help them relocate close to me, either at a senior facility or in an apartment depending on the seriousness of their situation. If they just can't bear to move away or are too frail, I plan to go to them for the short term to help get them situated somewhere in their hometown or find a hospice worker who can come to the house and then plan to make frequent trips back and forth. The reality might end up quite different, but that's my current plan.

In any case, here are some helpful articles from the blog that are worth reading.

Should I Get Long Term Care Insurance, https://www.financialsamurai.com/should-i-get-long-term-care-insurance/

Are Your Parents Putting Your Retirement At Risk, https://www.financialsamurai.com/parents-putting-retirement-risk/

Preparing For Death: A Checklist For The Inevitable, https://www.financialsamurai.com/preparing-for-death-a-checklist-for-the-inevitable/

SeanC73

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 02:06:47 PM »
I have a mom and step dad both 70 and a dad is who 70 with a step mom is about 50.  I'm not so worried about my dad as he has someone younger to take care of him.  My mom and step dad on the other hand I worry about.  I'm an only child so the thought of tackling this all is overwhelming at times.  My step dad recently had a minor stroke and thinks he's fine (even refused care at the hospital and signed a waiver), but he isn't.  My mom takes care of myself but I worry that taking care of him will do her harm in the long run.  I'm sure I'll have to jump in at some point and help out.  It's scary but I also look at it as a new challenge.

Jamie

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Karma: +10/-1
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 03:12:25 PM »
Thanks for all of your replies! Yeah it sure is hard not to worry. We all have different scenarios but a lot of the same emotions and worries.

@SeanC73 - i like your perspective of treating it like a new challenge!

FabFitRetired

  • Guest
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 03:12:40 PM »
Oh yes.....my mom was diagnosed with Alheizmer's last year and we have seen a steady decline since.  She no longer drives, prepares food, or does any house work. My dad is the primary caregiver, but I am over there 4+ times a week to do some fitness work with her, take her out on errands, prepare food and help where I can.  With this disease it gets more difficult every month, and the emotional toll on the primary care giver is very stressful.

Financially they are set, yet at this point my father doesn't want to bring in in-home help. I have researched support groups but he does not want to attend those either. If anyone has suggestions on this specific disease progression, I would love and advice you have.

Leigh

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: +34/-0
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 02:22:10 PM »
This is a HUGE topic and one that can become a huge, giant, not kind, life interceptor and quite unexpected.

All it takes is that one phone call at 4:20 in the morning.

And suddenly....you find yourself asking these questions?

Do I know the medications my parents take?

Do I know who their doctor's are?

What are they allergic to?

Are their investments safe? Is anyone currently taking advantage of them?

And about a thousand other similar questions.

For someone who has parents nearing 75, or depending on their health, I would suggest sooner, give these things some thought:

Have a talk with them and let them be a part of the solution. Mom, Dad...should a day come when you are no longer able to drive/walk/live independently....what would you want me to do?

Don't let them laugh it off. If there was ever a time you need a plan in place, this is the time.

Trust me.

You don't want to be running all over your house in your pajamas at 5 am because your mother just called and said your daddy can't talk and the ambulance just took him to the hospital.

In the best world, here's some ideas.

Buy a notebook. Write down every fact, figure and issue relating to your parents. Social Security numbers, insurances, (health, life, property), take photos of all the cards in their wallet (yes, you are going to have to have them trust you. If you are a schmuck and would take advantage of them, then please have another sibling do this), any VA info, cemetery plot info, doctor, prescriptions, take photos of all pill bottles (have you double checked their pills?  Get this all written down, photograph these pages and put them in a google keep document on your phone. This way, they are accessible all the time any time you need them.

I refer to this book constantly.

Do you know what they take? Have you checked the expiration dates on their vitamins?)


Have you pulled their dryer vent? Checked the cleanliness of a contact's case?


Get the numbers of their credit cards and go online and check for all the continuity charges.

You know the ones. 

The $79 magazine yearly renewals, the $49 per month chiropractor charge they didn't know they were signing up for, the $39 porn monthly porn charge for your dad who has never even seen a computer....all of these goodies. Call them all, make threats using words like the AARP elderly fraud protection group and your state's council on aging. Get them off.

Once you have tightened up their financial world, begin to research getting a General durable power of attorney once they get to the age they need help. You'll also need to get your name on every account so you can speak with their doctors, insurances, etc etc. Do they have a will? Do you have a copy? Do they have a safety deposit box? Do you have a key? 

Do they have secondary beneficiaries on all insurances and how about this one.....is the house warranty deed in BOTH names and not just your Daddy's?

Does all this sound like a lot of work?

Yes, of course it does.

But it has to be done at some point unless your parents are one of the lucky ones who don't get dementia. (50% of all seniors over 85)

But seriously folks, start a list and just do it.

I did get that call. And I have scrambled, but all of this is now in place and life is so much easier.

It's hard work, but so were you when you were a kid. I consider it an honor. And I know I won't have any regrets. 


Sam

  • Shogun, Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 600
  • Karma: +99/-6
  • Always curious
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2018, 11:46:13 PM »
I have begun to worry, and as a result, I plan to move to Hawaii within a couple years to be within a 15 minute drive away, not a 5 hour plane ride.

They want their independence, which is great. And we enjoy ours. But I need to be there to transport them, feed them, negotiate for them with vendors etc.

I will regret not spending more time with them after they are gone. I think we all will.
Regards,

Sam

Smurfy FIRE

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 02:36:24 PM »
Yes, all the time...and I lose sleep over it.  Mostly I worry how I will be able to afford to take care of them when they can no longer do so themselves...and still have something left to take care of myself when I am their age.  I have no kids to sponge off of  if I make bad financial decisions.

Old_Arpad

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2018, 04:56:05 PM »
I used to worry. However, my mother died comparatively young, in her sleep, having never been ill or taken any medications. My father recently complained of not being able to complete a walk - upon enquiry, the ‘walk’ turned out to be the 3 hour Chamonix Valley hike on Mont Blanc. Will see how he goes but I no longer worry, he is fitter than me. Financially, he is set and I am fortunate that I’ve never had to worry about funding him.

bf312

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: +3/-0
Re: Do you worry about taking care of your aging parents?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2018, 09:15:09 AM »

Buy a notebook. Write down every fact, figure and issue relating to your parents. Social Security numbers, insurances, (health, life, property), take photos of all the cards in their wallet (yes, you are going to have to have them trust you. If you are a schmuck and would take advantage of them, then please have another sibling do this), any VA info, cemetery plot info, doctor, prescriptions, take photos of all pill bottles (have you double checked their pills?  Get this all written down, photograph these pages and put them in a google keep document on your phone. This way, they are accessible all the time any time you need them.

I refer to this book constantly.

@Leigh, this is an awesome idea! I am going to start when I see my parents over the holidays

Yes, caring for aging parents is always something on my mind. The topic was one I dealt with earlier than most. I was in my early 20s when my father was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's Disease. In the 10 years since then, it's been crazy to see the role-reversal of the child-parent relationship. One of the main reasons I moved from San Francisco back to the Midwest was to be closer to my parents.