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Caring For Aging Parents
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Caring for Aging Parents

Many Baby Boomers are finding themselves sandwiched between still raising their children and caring for their aging parents. While this is a noble endeavor, the stress and finances needed are sometimes overwhelming and something Boomers haven’t necessarily planned for as they entered their second half century. Of note, approximately 1 in 8 adults are providing some level of care for both their children and their parents.

There is an obligation one has for raising their children and, hopefully, sending them out into the world to become successful adults. This should be a satisfying feeling and one to be proud of. But just when you think you are able to save some money and have some “freedom”, your parents now need your help and attention.

Aging in Place

The goal of aging in place is to allow elders to remain in their own home, preferably in their own community, and independently. There are many services available to assist with this but a lot of the support, and sometimes finances, come from children who are considered Baby Boomers. Whether they live in the same home town as their senior parents or across the country, Boomers are finding that they are very much involved with assisting their parents to remain at home.

Senior’s Homes or Apartments

This may very well be the next “natural progression” in seniors transitioning from their home to a facility or apartment that caters specifically to their needs. This may include recreational, medical, or even meal assistance but, again, the goal is to have these seniors retain their independence for as long as possible. And their Baby Boomer children are often involved with this as well. And not only ensuring their parents are settled comfortably into one of these facilities, Boomers are then left with the onerous task of settling their parent’s estates and possibly other legal matters…and possibly providing financial assistance given the high price of facilities targeted for seniors.

Nursing Homes

Very likely the last move for seniors, Nursing Homes are typically for those that require some or total care during their final years. While typically great places with great services and staff, these oftentimes require ongoing financial assistance from their children. In addition, Boomers need to visit to maintain that connection with their parents and the broader family so these seniors are not feeling they have been abandoned.

Hospice Care

There are a small percentage of seniors that will require hospice care in the final stages of their lives. This type of care provides care of the whole person and relies heavily on the assistance and involvement of families. The goal is to bring tranquility and dignity to these final days and support the patient in their final days. While striving to maintain a positive attitude, this is very difficult for Baby Boomers to remember to take care of themselves as well…while still supporting their own children and continuing to go to work every day.

Caring for aging parents is oftentimes something that we don’t have a choice but to do and Baby Boomers may be directly or indirectly involved with all of these various stages that their parents may go through. We applaud anyone who does this, knowing that it is fraught with difficulties, struggles and, sometimes, resentment.

What might make this even more difficult is that the caregiver, the Baby Boomer, is also anticipating and planning for their retirement. What adds to the challenge for some is that they may not have adequate retirement income and the additional strain of supporting their senior parents becomes all that more difficult. So some find that they now need to include extra income by taking on a part-time job now and/or when they actually retire.

One thing seems to compound other things and it begins to have a snowball effect. It’s important that, should you be caught in this, you ensure that you seek out resources and support for yourself so that you can manage these many obligations, emotionally and financially.

Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

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