< Back to article

Cost of Caring for Elderly Parents Could Be Next Financial Crisis

12 Comments

I was appointed guardian of the assets and my brother guardian of the person.
I wanted to take care of my mom, but my brother threw her in a nursing home.
I used my mother’s money for Legal fees to try to get her out. 2 years later, After she past away, the special administrator needs money so she can submit her fees. Found a loop hole and said since I did not have prior permission to spend her money on maintaining and fixing and legal fees,
Now 2 years later, She is petitioning the court to have me pay back all the money. My Atty did submit an approval for payment for all the bills pre paid to be approved.
Can she do that?

I hate to see statements like "failing to plan" . Like solutions exist for everyone. They don't! How do you "plan" when you can barely get by raising your own children and paying a mortgage and college tuition. How can you pay for your own long term care insurance when you can't afford it for someone else? How does a senior citizen lady who was a stay at home mom and barely brings in $1200 a month on SS live independently, let alone have enough money to pay for a helper or have enough $ to pay for a mortgage because she has used the equity in her house like an ATM?

This is my first time on this site and I'm so glad I found it! My husband and I have been going crazy coping with the care and living expenses of both my parents for years. We had to sell our home and downsize after the financial crisis cut our income nearly half some years ago. My father died 6 years ago and he was, for the most part, a delight to care for in that he never really complained about anything and was easy to be with, and not too demanding but not so with my mother whom I've never really gotten along with and will suck the life put of you if you let her. I don't know what's worse, the financial stress or the stress of caring for a difficult person, but it doesn't really matter after a while 'cause stress is stress no matter where it's coming from. I'm 62 and my mother is 84 and although she has many ailments she's as strong as a ox. I'm sure she has many more years ahead of her. I will either fall apart myself or run out of money, I'm not sure which will come first but we definitely need to make a change. I'm glad there are some resources out there to get financial help for affordable senior housing. That will be my next step to research but my challenge will be to convince my mother that making a move will be for the best, for all concerned. She can throw a tantrum like no one else I've ever seen, including myself. We don't have enough money for assisted living, for her, but if we can find an affordable housing situation in our area we could maybe afford to get some in-home care to help her with chores and running errands. Thank you for this blog, I feel I'm in the right place and among friends, if you will. Maybe now I can get some sleep.

it's a common misconception that there was a recovery from the last financial crisis. all that's changed is central banks artificially propped up the stock market for a few more years. many of us have been financially tapped out for years, due in no small part to the greed and financial abuses of the generation we're caring for. things like pension income on top of social security, medical benefits for life on top of medicare, are virtually unheard of even for my generation, 50-somethings.

With my grandparents already in an assisted living center I can't help but wonder what will happen when my own parents need this kind of service. The cost is astronomical. To be honest this seems like a pretty good time to get into the senior care business.

Caring for elderly parents is not just stressful but as well as costly. I do agree with the numbers here that family caregivers are unprepared and don't have a sound plan on how they can pay for their parents' long term care needs. In my opinion, it shouldn't be this way. I mean instead of paying for your parents' expenses, why not help them plan for their future needs and encourage them to purchase private insurance. In this way, their nest egg will be protected and they can hire a caregiver or move to a long term care community. Long-term care insurance comes with a hefty price tag but don't get intimidated because there is an effective way to keep the premiums down and that is by requesting for quotes.

It's sad when you see all these numbers on adult children who take care of aging parents and learn about their struggles as primary caregivers. The thing is these could have been less if only families talked more about long-term care planning and stopped living in denial and started really looking at their different options how to combat the emotional and financial consequences of this type of healthcare need.

I learned how to pay my hired help over the table last year. i am grateful I did because she became like family and when i had to let her go when I lost my job she could collect unemployment.

Hello - I have written before about my mom's caregiving expenses and have started the ball rolling so to speak on seeing if my mom will quality for what they call Medi-Medi program. She is 80 years of age, had a stroke 4 years ago, 24 hr. care required right now, living with my husband and I, owns no property. Initially I was taking care of her for around a month full time til I got very ill. We went through an agency, that became a hassle because their caregiver's were unreliable. We met a wonderful caregiver who we are paying "under the table". That is the only way we are able to keep someone affordable, is reliable, and my mom likes her. We also trust her, she is like family.
The problem (maybe): The Social Worker will be coming out. She has taken my husband's and my Soc. Security numbers. They mentioned seeing bank statements. Will they be inspecting for payments going out for caregiving expenses over the past year or so? It may be a problem for us.
thanks, from O.C. California

comment

ChasingChaos, I'm sorry for your loss. Advanced Directives only apply to medical decisions. A living trust and/or Power of Attorney is what you would have needed to legally take over her finances. I don't think you were committing a crime. For it to be criminal, you would have had to commit some kind of financial abuse. But to be sure you should consult an Attorney.