By Terry Stanfield
Almost everyone will reach the point in their lives where they have aging parents who will need special care as they age. Depending their individual needs, this could mean nothing more than driving them to the grocery store once a week or hiring someone to help them clean their homes.
In severe cases it could mean a total disruption of lives - yours and theirs. If your mom or dad is suffering from a progressive debilitating disease such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, or perhaps they are recovering from major surgery, they may need more than some live in help or an occasional drive to the doctor's office. They need round the clock care, and you're the only one in the family who can provide it.
No matter how much you love your parents, providing this level of care and this type of sacrifice can play havoc with families. If you are in a position where your only option is to move your parent in with you, it's a tough decision to make. For the entire family. Your spouse may have no interest in having your mother move in, your daughter doesn't want to give up her bedroom, and your son doesn't want to have to share the bathroom with yet one more person.
And what about other obligations? Who does provide all this care? No one can be there all day long and all night long. People need to work, go to school, or deal with other commitments. If your mother needs medication at certain times, who will administer them? Your 13 year old daughter?
What about special diets, physical therapy, insulin injections, convulsions, or bouts of dementia? How mobile is she? Who can help get her to the bathroom and back to bed? If she's completely bed ridden, is she demanding? Is she lucid enough to be constantly looking for something?
Is your family willing and able or even interested in providing any level of help? Some aren't. Not every wife wants to take on the additional chore of caring for one more person, especially someone who is apparently unable to live on her own. With work, the house, and her own family, she may have no interest in completely disrupt her life to accommodate someone else.
Before a crisis happens in your family, ask your parents what they expect and be honest about you and your family may be able to provide - and not. Don't let them assume that when the time comes they are simply moving in. They should have a clear understanding of what their options will be.
Before you go out and buy a policy go to Long Term Care Insurance, ask questions and request a quote. We represent 20 of the top LTCi providers. This gives you tremendous options.
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