It can be difficult to watch parents get older, especially if they experience cognitive decline or health issues related to age. The older adults become, the more they may struggle with daily life and the more dependent they may become on family members and medical support.
Even when people plan to live with their adult children or remain independent in their own homes after retirement, they may reach a point where they require more support than their children can provide. Eventually, older adults may need to move into nursing homes so that they can have 24-hour support from professionals.
Unfortunately, many older adults do not have nearly enough retirement savings to cover the major costs required for nursing home care. As a result, children of aging and elderly parents may benefit from talking about those future expenses with their loved one well before they’re in a position to move.
It is never too late to start planning
Some older adults think that if they didn’t start planning for long-term care back when they were young enough for long-term care insurance to have affordable premiums they have few options. However, planning to qualify for Medicaid is possible for many older adults, especially if they aren’t quite ready to move yet.
Creating a Medicaid trust is a common tactic that can allow people to preserve certain assets, like the home where they live, while simultaneously preparing to qualify for Medicaid later if they need to move into a nursing home. While it is often more beneficial to plan earlier in life, planning later can still help reduce the likelihood of Medicaid penalties and estate recovery claims later.
Talking with aging parents about their needs can be difficult
There is no question that it will be emotionally challenging to talk with a loved one about their declining health and the financial implications of their medical needs. However, the alternative to having that uncomfortable conversation is accepting that they may not get the support that they need or could end up unable to leave an inheritance for their loved ones.
Talking to family members about their long-term care needs and ability to qualify for Medicaid can help them protect themselves as they age and reduce the strain on their loved ones when their circumstances change.