Specialist in Issues of Midlife & Older Adults

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Soaring Numbers of Adult Children Caring For Aging Parents

adult helping senior in hospitalAccording to US News & World Report: “The number of people taking care of an aging parent has soared in the past 15 years. In 1994, only 3 percent of men and 9 percent of women helped provide basic care for a parent. Fifteen years later, 17 percent of men and 28 percent of women provided such care.”

This article also speaks to the importance of creating a sound financial plan to manage assets for sustainability through older life – knowing where you stand money-wise informs your decisions about caregiving, medical, emotional support and other resources. adult daughter aging dad

So often I see older adult clients who don’t understand what assets they have. As a psychotherapist, I am not a financial adviser. I refer out to trusted local financial planners who work honestly and diligently for clients who have a lot of money and clients who have worked hard but don’t have much extra. 

It seems obvious but somehow this gets lost in the shuffle: without knowing exactly how much you have, it isn’t possible to intelligently plan how much you can spend on a personal assistant to help with things like bill-paying, organizing paperwork, balancing checkbooks, driving when you are unable to drive anymore, running errands, doing some light housecleaning, maybe some light meal prep – all of these kinds of tasks that keep us thriving and living in our own homes when we are getting to the place where we can’t do all of these things ourselves.

Another point I feel it’s important to point out is that once you know what you have to work with, there is a WIDE range of creative and available ways to organize care. The range is determined by the spectrum of being able to pay for all outside help to divvying up all the caergiving tasks amongst the adult children whether they are living close by or far away to a combination of those. You have to know where you stand before you can strategize!

Read more about it in The Jerusalem Post article entitled “Your Investments: When Children Take Care of Elderly Parents”.