How many adult children are willing to become fanancially ruined to care for elderly parent?

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With more elderly parents living far into their senior years, there will come a time when they are no longer able to care for themselves. If they have not made sound financial decisions or have no substantial assets, should their adult children take on the financial responsibilites even if it could ruin their own financial future? Do the financial needs of the elderly supercede the financial needs of the adult child? Who is going to help the adult child when all their finances are exhausted and may not have a job to start over? I do not believe social programs should be totally responsible for elderly care, but more affordable elderly care should be available as the aging population grows without affecting the younger generations ability to live financially stable.

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Debralee, what you write is true. Money used to flow down the family tree. Increasingly it is starting to flow upward. There is no easy answer. Unfortunately, the size of the US paycheck has not kept pace with the cost of living and medical care. The why's would have to dig into the way the fed issues paper money and other factors -- far beyond the scope of this group. The bottom line is that people's money run out before their lives do. The government and children have to fill in the rest. Is it the children's responsibility? or the government's? There are no easy answers. Each family does the best it can.

I wish things were different. I wish we would stop printing money and reducing its value. I wish some people didn't need so much money to try to feel satisfied. And I wish we would go back to a time where estates were passed to heirs instead of sold to pay the nursing home. I know we are not going to see that, though, so each family is going to have to look to their own financial future. It is a sad thing that the sense of community is falling by the wayside, since the strength of humans is in the community. Each of us is weak standing alone.
Far too many, in my opinion. I think it is irresponsible (though well-intended) for adults to face financial ruin for the sake of their parents.

As a culture (and this is true all over the world) we simply are not set up for people to live longer. Medical science has outpaced social science and we have a lot of catching up to do. Meanwhile, for the second-oldest generation to be bankrupting itself for the care of the oldest generation only prolongs the problems.

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