Tag Archives: Elder Care

5 Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents Retain Their Independence

By Nicole Seghetti

SEnior freedom

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We all want to help our parents meet the goal of aging in place independently and happily. Evaluating your loved ones’ current living situation and making necessary changes now increases the likelihood they’ll be able to stay in their homes for as long as possible.

Here are five things you can do to ensure your parents can keep their independence in the years ahead.

1. Assess Caregiving Needs.

Determine what your parent needs help with on a daily or weekly basis. For example, would they be better off if they were having the groceries delivered? Can your dad follow his medication schedule? Do your parents need help with housework? Evaluate their needs, and then match up service providers to take care of those needs.

One major factor in an elderly person’s independence is their ability to drive. If they are not capable of doing so without possibly causing injury to themselves or others, then arrange other transportation options. Many municipalities, volunteer groups, and nonprofit organizations offer seniors rides for little to no fee.

2. Make Home Modifications.

Next, assess your parents’ home and determine whether or not it can safely sustain them now and in the future.

Mobility and the ability to monitor their safety is key. If possible, make modifications to their existing home. Consider (where possible) tearing down walls to create a more navigable floor plan, installing easier-to-access showers and sinks, and modifying fixtures so they’re more user-friendly.

Also, look into home monitoring systems, which are becoming more sophisticated every year. Some technologies even have the ability to detect changes in your parents’ activity. For example, if the system senses that Mom took a fall, it can send instant alerts to you and 911 in emergency situations.

If their home cannot be modified to accommodate your parents as they age, then be proactive about looking for a new residence (e.g., a new single-story home in a neighborhood near you or assisted living).

3. Find Community Resources.

Until recently, local resources for seniors mostly consisted of adult day care centers and Meals on Wheels programs. But as the population of adults age 65-plus escalates over the next couple of decades, more resources will become available.

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One such resource is the “village” concept. Villages connect members with resources they need to live at home safely and comfortably. Many villages are neighborhood organizations that rely on volunteers to provide services. For an annual fee, these communities help senior members manage household tasks they can no longer handle. When volunteers aren’t able to provide services, villages refer members to discounted and vetted vendors. Look for a village close to your parent’s home.

4. Enlist Local Support and Companionship.

Many adult children live hundreds or even thousands …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Financial Advice for the Sandwich Generation

By Molly McCluskey

UPPER MARLBORO, MD- AUGUST 16: Daniel Sherrett, 28, who returned home to live with his mother, Marie, and older brother Mark, 31, after completing his bachelor's degree at the Culinary Institute of America, prepares dinner as part of his deal to live at home, on Tuesday, August 16, 2011.  (Photo by Michael Temchine/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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Michael Temchine/For The Washington Post via Getty Images Daniel Sherrett, 28, who returned home to live with his mother, Marie, and older brother Mark, 31, after completing his bachelor’s degree at the Culinary Institute of America, prepares dinner as part of his deal to live at home.

Between the growing number of adult children moving back in with their parents, and a growing population of senior citizens becoming financially dependent on their children, the Sandwich Generation can’t seem to catch a break.

Nearly half of all adults between the ages of 40-59 are giving financial support either to a parent over the age of 65 or to their offspring. Nearly one in seven adults are supporting both. So says a new study by Pew on the rising financial burdens of those adults — the generation that overlaps both the Baby Boomers and Generation X.

Multigenerational Impacts of Unemployment

The middle-aged Sandwich Generation has been hit especially hard by the recession and its aftermath. With unemployment still at 7.7 percent in February, and mass layoffs of nearly 135,000 in January alone, the long-term financial pressure is hitting those supporting multiple generations particularly hard.

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Older parents may face forced retirement, and its sudden impacts. Parents of teens may face impending college expenses. Grown children with children of their own may suddenly face their own unemployment and be forced to move back home.

Although older workers were more likely to have held onto their jobs during the recession than their less experienced counterparts, workers over 50 who were laid off during the recession are finding it difficult to find new work. Too young to retire, this age group was recently called “the new unemployable” by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College.

Meanwhile, younger workers are less likely to be employed than they were just a few years ago, and those with jobs are earning lower wages, due in part to the competition from older, underemployed workers willing to work for less.

How to Navigate the New Terrain

Even though being financially sandwiched seems like being stuck in a vise that can only get tighter, with tax breaks and deductions for long-term care, retirement planning doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s some advice:

Don’t dip into savings: Sandwichers should avoid dipping into personal and retirement savings if possible. Instead, evaluate all options for both the care of parents and the well-being of children. Investigating long-term care insurance before it’s needed for aging parents, and knowing what expenses will have to be paid out-of-pocket might help make difficult decisions easier.

Explore all cost-savings options: Families with students heading off to college should explore less expensive options. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance