Do you know who will take care of you when you are unable to take care of yourself? Studies show that most caregivers for aging seniors are likely to be women, and most likely to be your daughter or daughter-in-law. What this means is that unless parents have a plan for their future long term care, the financial burden of caring for these aging parents will fall to daughters and their families.
Serving as a caregiver for elderly parents includes more than just driving to doctor appointments or helping with the shopping, it often includes paying for food and medical costs, as well as taking time away from careers to care for family members. In fact, it’s not unusual for female caregivers to experience a significant loss of income over a lifetime in reduced salary and retirement benefits.
Many seniors think that they will have government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid to fall back on, but these programs don’t always provide as much as expected or hoped. Relying on government programs can leave your children or family members footing just as much of the bill as they would without the programs. Instead, seniors may want to consider investing in long-term-care insurance, which can provide more flexible and comprehensive coverage than government programs, and save seniors and their families much time and money.
If you are a daughter of aging parents, now is the time to talk to your parents about the future. Studies show that you are the one who is likely to shoulder the responsibility of caring for parents as they age. Doing so will affect your family, your career, your finances, and even your health.
The subject of aging and elder care is a difficult one, but not one to be left to the last minute. Talk to your family about your wishes and plans for the future, then bring your estate planning attorney into the discussion. Once you have an idea of your wishes, an expert can help you feel better about your options, and put you on the right path for keeping your family healthy, happy, and financially secure in the years to come.