Many adult children anticipate caring for an aging parent at some point. This expectation can stem from wanting to retain a close relationship or out of obligation. Whatever the reasons may be, determining if such an arrangement is feasible will be crucial.
A primary limitation people face when it comes to taking care of someone at home is whether they have the capability – in terms of time and money – to do so. To help you assess your circumstances, you should be able to answer four critical questions.
How much care does your parent need?
Some parents require help getting around town and completing occasional personal care tasks. He or she may still be able to cook, clean and even watch the grandkids occasionally, which could make caring for them in your home easier for everyone.
However, if your parent requires the use of sophisticated medical equipment and constant supervision, you may not have the time or space to fulfill their needs. In these cases, providing in-home care yourself can be far more difficult.
Based on their needs and your capabilities, you may find it impossible to afford the care he or she needs. For more information on the cost of at-home caregiving, you can read this NPR article.
Will you have help?
Having help can be especially crucial if your parent requires (or may soon require) specialized medical care. If you are not trained in these services, you should have help. You might hire a nurse to come in when necessary to administer medication or perform other functions.
It can also be valuable to have other sources of support. Home cleaning services, a network of close friends or family and adult day care providers can make caring for an aging parent a little easier.
What does your parent want?
One of the greatest gifts a parent can give adult children is long-term care planning. With a comprehensive care plan, a parent can set aside money for care and specify where he or she would like to receive care. If this is in an adult child’s home, a parent can discuss this ahead of time and utilize strategies to alleviate the child’s financial burden.
Whether caring for a parent in your home is necessary or preferable, make sure you answer these questions before making any firm decisions.