Archive for September, 2012

Mom and Dad Are Moving In With Us: Could There Be A Better Way?

September 30, 2012

Hello adult children!  Do you enjoy one-week visits by your parents or in-laws?  How about a month?  A year?  Indefinitely?

Most of us look forward to short visits.  Not too many are comfortable with the idea of becoming their parents’ full-time, forever, caregiver…in their own homes.  Let’s look at the pros and cons of having Mom and Dad move in with you.

Pros: Your parents raised you and took care of your every need when you were a child.  It seems only fair for you to do the same for them.  The companionship will be good.  The relationship between your parents and your spouse may get even better.  If your own children are still living with you, it will be good for them to spend more time with their grandparents.  Your parents will be there to provide advice whenever needed.

Cons: Having a parent or parents living with you 24/7, 365 days per year can often become intense.  The parent will always be the parent and you will always be the child…thought to be in need of “suggestions” about many things.  The relationship will change, and not always for the better.  Do you have enough space?  Where will Mom and Dad sleep?  What bathroom will they use?  Will there be privacy issues….for you and for them?  Will having your parents live with you impact your relationship with your spouse?  Do you really want to be the one to bathe Mom?…or Dad?

For those who have thought this through and are certain that having Mom and Dad permanently move into your home will work: You can stop reading here.  If you  are not sure, let me show you what for many could be a better way of providing quality care for your parents.

Long term Care Insurance: “But Ray, you don’t understand.  Mom and dad can’t afford new insurance.”  What if you paid for the insurance?  Or better yet, what if you and your siblings split the cost?  Even better than better yet, what if Mom and Dad paid a small portion (thus preserving their dignity) and you and your siblings split the remaining cost?

As before, let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros: Mom and dad can stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own home for as long as possible.  Long Term care insurance can pay for quality professional home care, adult day care, assisted living (near your home if desired) and nursing home care  (also near your home or elsewhere).  Instead of becoming the hands-on full–time caregiver, you become your parents’ manager of care.  When home care is no longer feasible, the insurance can pay for good assisted living or nursing home care.  You can continue to enjoy your parents for as long as possible without having to make dramatic changes in your own household.

Cons: You, your siblings, and possibly your parents will have to share the cost of long term care insurance.

I am suggesting a better way of providing long term care for Mom and Dad.  Does this seem selfish?  It is not.  Caregiving is far more exhausting than people who have not done it can imagine.  Caregiving, especially so for those you love, causes early burn-out and harm to the caregiver’s own health.  Providing the better means of assuring good care for your parents can be a family act of loving kindness.

Personal note: My wife and I, my brother-in-law, and my mother-in-law are (as are a number of my clients) sharing in the cost of long term care insurance.  Call or email me if you would like to further explore this idea.

Disclaimer: Actual policy language, rather than the contents of this eNewsletter always takes precedence.  Long term care insurance policies vary from company to company & within the same company.  Raymond Smith, The Long Term Care Specialist, does not give legal or tax advice.  Consult your tax advisor or attorney for these matters.

 

© Raymond Smith, The Long Term Care Specialist, 2012 & 2016.