Are Children Going into Debt for Their Parents?

Jun 1, 2016

Are Children Going into Debt for Their Parents?

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As parents age into their Golden Years, children often feel responsible for ensuring their parents’ comfort, safety and wellbeing. Often times that means welcoming them into our own homes, while other times it can be helping them adjust to a new lifestyle in a senior living facility.

We don’t mind giving back to Mom and Dad; after all, it’s the least we can do for the people that raised us. Despite wanting to foot the bill for parents, some children just don’t have that sort of extra money lying around. The average nursing home costs about $6,400 per month, while assisted living is around $3,300. Home care is typically per hour and depends on how often the caregiver is there, but averages out about $3,000 to $4,000 per month.

5 Ways to Limit Senior Care Costs

In some cases, spending money in order to ensure an elderly parent’s health and wellbeing is unavoidable, but there are a few things you can do in order to limit the potential cost. 

1. Spend your parent’s money first

This sounds blunt, but if your parents have the money, spend that first. This will help you stay out of debt, and it could potentially help your parents take advantage of money that could be offered to them.

2. Take advantage of Medicaid

In order for your parent to receive Medicaid, they can’t have more than $2,000 worth of assets (aside from a house and car). This is another reason it’s important to use a parent’s money before spending your own.

3. Don’t try to pay it by yourself

If you have siblings, ask them to help. This can be a costly venture, and it’s completely understandable that one person cannot pay it alone. If you happen to be an only child, reach out to other family members that could potentially offer help.

4. Assess your parent’s needs

As we mentioned in earlier, the more care a parent needs, the more expensive the care type. If your parent doesn’t need 24/7 care, check out assisted living rather than a nursing home. Understanding the needs of your parent could potentially help you save thousands of dollars per month.

5. Shop around

If you know that a parent may have an interest in moving into an assisted living residence within the next year, start your search. It can appear difficult to find a place that is a) not too far away, b) suits the needs of your parents, and c) doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. SeniorCaring.com can help make this search easier, by offering thousands of senior care facilities across the country. Taking the time to find the right place, rather than rushing into one, can potentially save you thousands of dollars.

Despite the fact that senior care facilities can be quite costly, there are definitely ways to help keep that cost down while finding the perfect place for your parent or loved one – just follow these tips!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between home care and an assisted living facility?

There are several differences between home care and assisted living. Home care means hiring a trained professional to provide care right in your home, while assisted living involves moving to a community to receive similar care. The amount of assistance that home care provides depends on your senior's needs and can be tailored accordingly. Home care can range anywhere from weekly companionship and therapy to 24-hour skilled nursing care or even hospice. In contrast, assisted living provides seniors with an enriching community of their peers and medical attention as needed, making it a flexible option for many. 

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Due to our financial situation, I simply cannot afford to put my parents in a home, but having them live with me isn’t exactly ideal. Are there any other affordable options?

We realize that senior care communities can be costly, but there are a few things to be considered. Many healthcare providers will help offset the costs of moving to a senior care community. If that’s still not financially possible, look into having a home care aid come to your parents' house a few times a week. These home care aids can be hired through an agency or independently and can provide a variety of services to take care of senior loved ones. Don’t let money get in the way of providing the care your parents deserve.

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Finding the perfect senior care community is only part of making your loved one’s senior living transition smooth. At SeniorCaring, we know that it is also equally important to be aware of what other community services and resources are available to your family’s senior. Choose your location and find local resources for your senior.