For many, providing help for your aging parents can be financially, logistically, and emotionally challenging. As your parents age, they may reach a point where they need extra help. The good thing is there are numerous resources available to assist you and your parents in the process as they enter this new chapter of their life. We have compiled a shortlist of tips to help make the process of caring for your loved one easier. From the basics of knowing what to say, to exploring uncommon financial avenues, such as a viatical settlement, to meet financial obligations that arise along the journey, we highlight noteworthy points of consideration to help assist you with a smoother process in caring for your aging loved one.
1. Sit Down and Discuss
It is important to have an honest, open discussion about issues that you are aware of and ones that might come up. Both parties must be frank about their expectations. It’s easier to execute a plan for the future when everyone is on the same page.
How independent do your parents imagine themselves being when they are in the later stages of life? Is that realistic? What are their thoughts on staying in an assisted living center versus at home with their children? What level of attention will they need for day-to-day activities? Taking time to discuss these issues can help you plan and budget for future expenses, as well as eliminate tension that may be caused by unrealistic expectations in care.
It is important to understand the physical and emotional needs of your parents and address them with dignity and respect. However, it is also imperative that you consider your own limitations and be honest about them. Time, finances, and space will need to be considered when developing a plan for your parents. Those limitations do not signal a lack of care on your part. Rather, it offers what your family can reasonably handle. Many experts recommend holding a family meeting with key family members to give all family member a voice to feel equally heard.
3. Viatical Solution
When planning for long-term care for your aging parent, finances will inevitably be a topic of discussion. As you work with your aging parent to help them eliminate unnecessary expenses, you may consider letting their life insurance policy lapse to eliminate the cost of premiums. However, a life insurance policy can actually serve as a means for attaining cash now through a viatical settlement. In a viatical settlement, an individual sells their existing life insurance policy to a third party for more than its surrender value but less than its net death benefit, for cash now. Your loved one’s existing life insurance policy may hold the key when it comes to receiving funds to pay off various expenses such as medical bills, future cancer treatments, living expenses, and medications.
4. Remember to be Flexible
Life is unpredictable, especially for caregivers. If your parent has a stroke or your dad develops late-stage cancer, you’re not going to say, “It’s 7 p.m. and I’m done for the day. Someone else can meet them at the hospital and make all the arrangements.” All the planning in the world cannot account for how or when your loved one’s needs will increase. So, fine-tuning your boundaries so that they mesh with the ever-evolving reality of your situation is crucial.
Building some flexibility into your schedule and the care plan is important, but where it really matters is being open to all sources of help. You must be willing and able to step away and let someone else take over from time to time.
The fact of the matter is that one person cannot possibly do it all.
American Life Fund Can Help
It’s important to understand that as your loved one’s needs increase, the importance of your own needs and those of your family does not diminish. This means exploring all avenues for financial assistance, reaching out to relatives for help, or seeking communities that can better meet the needs of your parents.
At American Life Fund, we help make life easier on individuals burdened financially through viatical settlements. To learn more about our services or to get a quote, contact us today.