Caring for Elderly Parents

During this stage in your life, you may be considered the “sandwich generation”, meaning you are caring for your children and an elderly parent / parents. Undoubtedly, this creates a lot of stress on you physically, emotionally and financially. How does this responsibility impact your future?

Added Responsibilities:

Some people do not realize the toll it takes on an individual and family caring for an elderly parent. Even taking someone to medical appointments can be stressful as this requires time away from the office, thus creating additional stressors at work, or even lost wages. Other responsibilities to consider:

  • Elderly parents moving in with you
  • Having financial discussions with your parents
  • Engaging in the discussion to, preparing for and selling your parent’s home
  • Changes to your home dynamic and structural changes to your home if you are accommodating a loved one
  • Researching and applying for nursing home availability
  • Cost of medical equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, etc)
  • Cost of home care
  • Consulting with siblings on care
  • Taking over financial responsibilities for the elderly
  • Running additional errands
  • Researching and applying for Government programs

Financial Considerations:

Are your parents financially able to take on old age? Have they saved enough for their retirement years or will you have to dip into your own savings to provide the necessities and comforts? How will using your own savings impact your family? Are your aging parents making financial decisions at their personal cost in order to preserve a legacy?

Now may be the time when you consider meeting with your elderly parent’s advisors such as accountants, lawyers and financial advisors. Perhaps having trading authority on investment accounts or power of attorney for personal care / power of attorney for property would be supportive. Having these documents prepared ahead of any emergency, may avoid delays and will relieve the stress of having to have those conversations at an inappropriate time. Having joint bank accounts together with your elderly parent can also benefit you when it comes to paying bills, managing their finances and estate planning.

Useful websites to provide additional information:

www.seniors.gov.on.ca – provides program information for seniors, their families and those who work with seniors.

http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/audiences/seniors/index.shtml – a Government of Canada website which is helpful for retirement planning, CPP, OAS and programs offered for seniors.

www.servicecanada.gc.ca – additional information on CPP, OAS, and financial calculators.

www.cra-arc.gc.ca – Tax information for seniors, including RRIF’s, OAS, CPP and expenses.

If you or someone you know are caring for seniors, please talk with us about your options and strategies to ease the financial burden.

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