Your parents are getting older, and healthcare is only going up. Combined with the health issues that come from old age, you now must find a way to care for elderly parents. But what will it cost? Finding quality care is tough; we’ve all heard rumors of how rough a nursing home can be. That’s not your only option though. But even if a family member cares for them, how will that affect their personal and professional life? Sounds stressful.
Mujeres, we all want our parents to be healthy and taken care of. But this might cost you more than just your dinero. There might be expenses costs we pay with our own money. But don’t worry, today we’ll go over what caring for your aging parents is really costing you.
Common Health problems in old age
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common health issues among the elderly are hearing loss, cataracts, joint pain, and depression. Each condition requires specialized equipment or procedures to improve their condition. Many elderly folks have more than one of the mentioned conditions. This is just a short list of health issues our aging parents might face. If they did not lead a healthy lifestyle, they could have even more conditions or worse conditions.
Two very common health issues, often the costliest, are diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Diabetes needs to be continuously monitored and supplemented with insulin. But you’ll need to know what the level of the diabetic’s blood sugar before supplying insulin. This requires a particular machine to check blood sugar levels (“glucose machine”). This machine can be cheap (approximately $15), but the refills for the machine can be expensive (approximately $50).
You might not have to check blood sugar for Alzheimer’s patients, but you need to make sure that someone can take care of them. Alzheimer’s disease is a very specific brain disease that occurs after significant cell damage. Symptoms can include memory loss, lost track of dates and places, repeating the same question, and difficulty with familiar tasks. Symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients will progress, and they will eventually reach the point where they will need a full-time caretaker.
What is the cost in caring for your aging parents?
Nursing homes can be costly, averaging $7,900 per month. Even an adult day health care service can. That’s a whole other mortgage. According to a Cost of Care Survey from Genworth, the monthly median cost for in-home care in 2021 was $4,957 for Homemaker services; $5,148 for Home Health Aides. Community and Assisted living homes cost $1,690 for adult day health care service and $4,500 for Assisted living homes. Median nursing home facilities cost$7,908 for a semi-private room, and $9,034 for private rooms.
Clearly elderly health care is expensive, and this is just daily assistance. This doesn’t include any other ongoing health issues. Don’t worry though, because even if you choose one of the previous options, you have options to reduce out of pocket expenses.
How can I Afford to take care of my aging parents?
Elderly parents can use their social security income to help support themselves. If you take care of your own parents, you can receive government assistance for caregivers of elderly parents. If your parent’s health declines suddenly, you can look for support through some Paid Family Leave (PFL) laws in your state. Although these are all reactive methods to supporting aging parents, we want to think ahead.
What the wealthy have figured out is the importance of having more than one revenue source. Not just two incomes but two different ways to earn income. For our elderly parents, this could be a pension plus social security, or an IRA and 401(k) pay outs. For you and me, this could be a regular job plus a side gig we grow into a full business. Or work your fulltime job and purchase a rental property. There are many ways to add another income source. According to an article on CNBC, 65% of millionaires grew their wealth with three different income sources.
What’s the toll in caring for elderly parents?
Caring for your aging parents won’t just cost you money, it can cost you time as well. Even if our parents are taken care of in your home, they will still need to go to doctor visits, get prescriptions, or just go to a social event. We can’t lock them away in our homes for ten or more years by themselves. But how will they get there? They probably can’t walk, so someone will have to drive them. And now you need to take time off work or reschedule your parent’s appointment when it’s convenient for you.
If you have no concern with time, consider how it will affect your mental health. As our parents get older, they need more care. But elderly folks are notorious for acting stubborn and ornery. It might feel like you’re fighting with a toddler again. Heaven forbids that your elderly parent has some form of dementia, you may likely answer the same question 5 times. You may also find that want to go visit their friend, not remembering their friend passed away many years ago. You need to find patience or find a caretaker.
Is it difficult to take care of elderly parents?
Absolutely. Your parents won’t always do what they need to. You may feel like you’re negotiating with a toddler. But who can blame them? It’s not easy being forced to rely on others. This is a huge task that you are looking to carry. If you’re not prepared, physically and financially, you could find yourself carrying such a mental weight that your own health will begin to decline.
You don’t need to carry this burden alone. Relying on your family, or finding services that can help, with lift so much weight off your shoulders. Prioritizing your financial and mental health can also be in a good place to build wealth. If you need to talk to someone and create a plan to help you be financially prepare for yourself and your parents, let’s chat.
No one wants to place their parent in a home because, traditionally, we are expected to care for them. But guess what Mujer? You don’t have to do it alone. This is why is so important to prioritize your health and your finances. Having a financial plan and a healthcare plan are two major areas we can improve to ensure that we are not a burden from this act of Love.
I want you to take care of your physical and mental health as well. This is the reason why I love helping Mujeres with a money mindset, systems for their dinero, and becoming investors. If you are ready to seek help, book a call with me, I’d love to chat.
Luzy King is an award-winning Latina Wealth Coach. She became a first-gen investor after learning about investing and wealth building by accident through her MBA program in 2019. During the same year, Luzy was denied access to financial advice because she didn’t have $100K to start investing, and she made a commitment to learn things on her own and become the first one in her family to start investing. Now she is passionate about teaching women of color all of the strategies she wishes someone would have taught her in school. Luzy is a certified trauma-informed Financial & Business Coach, contributing author, and Community Leader. Luzy is on a mission to destigmatize the idea of wanting more money, more money more options. She is ready to teach women of color how to build a legacy through stock market investing and entrepreneurship.
Follow her journey and tag along.