Taking care of mom and dad when they need extra assistance due to reduced agility or if they suffer from a health condition always seems to be the right thing to do for adult children. However, providing care to elderly parents can result in a financial crisis on the children’s end.
AgingCare.com conducted a survey to find out the effects of providing care to elderly parents on adult children. Results indicate that caregiving can result to financial threats such as income loss and less financial means for the children’s personal needs.
Lack of Financial Foresight
Results show that caregivers lack a financial plan not just on how they will pay for their parent’s care, but also on how they will secure their financial future. Sixty three percent of caregivers admit that they don’t have a plan on how their parent’s care will be paid in the next five years. Meanwhile, 62 percent reported that their caregiving responsibilities have affected their ability to prepare for their financial wellness in the future.
Money Spent on Parent’s Care
The amount of money that adult children spend on their parent’s care-related expenses may perhaps explain their lack of financial foresight. Of the caregivers surveyed, 34 percent spend $300 in a month for caregiving expenses. Meanwhile, more than half sacrifice their own spending money in order to pay for the care of their parents.
Impact on Work and Career
Income loss usually results from taking care of an elderly parent because caregivers either lessen their work hours or quit their jobs altogether.
According to the survey, 43 percent of caregivers took time off their jobs to take care of their loved one, and 48 percent reported earning less because of caregiving. Meanwhile, it’s startling to see that 25 percent of respondents were fired or quit their job because they had to take care of their elderly parents.
Physical and Emotional Problems
Apart from financial impacts, the amount of time that adult children spend in caregiving can also have a toll on their overall health. Fifty-three percent of respondents provide care for 40 or more hours per week, while 37 percent spend 80 hours per week in caregiving.
Thirty-six percent only get a break of 5 hours or less in a week, while 21 percent don’t even get a break at all. The numbers show that caregivers don’t rest or relax as often as they should and the daily strain can result to health problems, which also lead to more expenses.
The Importance of Having a Plan for Long-Term Care
The negative impact of taking care of an elderly parent can all be averted through planning for long term care. It’s important, for parents and children alike, to factor in long-term care in their financial and retirement plans.
Know your options early so that you can decide ahead of time. Determine how you will pay for long term care expenses and make sure that you talk to your family about it.
Creating a plan for long-term care early on will enable you to retain your independence and your overall quality of life and the same goes for the rest of your family.