How to Financially Support Your Elderly Parents

By Richard Hemmi, 9:00 am on

A recent study funded by the Pew Research Center revealed 20 percent of adult children between the ages of 40 and 60 financially assist their elderly parents. If your parents have fallen on hard times, you need to start thinking about how you can best help them in the coming years. Here are a few ways you can support your aging loved ones without going broke yourself.

Have an Honest Conversation

Before you come up with a solid financial plan, you first need to have a long and honest conversation with your parent. Many older adults are uncomfortable asking for money, but you don’t want to find out your loved one is overwhelmed with credit card debt years down the road. You can broach the subject by telling your loved one that you want to help out a little bit or asking about his or her current living expenses. Once your loved one starts to open up, you will have a much better idea of how much help he or she needs.

In addition to help with finances, seniors also often require assistance with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and personal care. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Cleveland West families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Consider Gifting the Money

Instead of simply paying for certain expenses, you might want to give your loved one monetary gifts to avoid tax issues. Single adults can gift up to $14,000 a year, and married couples can gift up to $28,000 a year without the recipient paying any taxes. If you directly pay for some of your parent’s expenses, you might disqualify him or her for certain benefits in the future. Those who are unsure of their options should consider working with a tax attorney or elder law attorney. 

Offer Loans

Another option you have is to give your parent a personal loan. Much like a loan from a company, you will need to come up with a loan contract signed by all parties involved. A lawyer can help you draft a loan document that it is legally binding and won’t adversely affect anyone’s finances or credit scores. These loans are a great solution for elderly parents who have high-interest debt from credit cards or medical expenses. 

Even if your loved one’s finances are in order, he or she may be facing other challenges throughout the day due to changes in health. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Cleveland West home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Apply for Government Benefits

There are many state and federal programs designed specifically for older adults who are facing rising living costs. The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit organization that maintains a directory of all local and federal benefits for seniors over the age of 65. Depending on your loved one’s health and income, he or she might be able to take advantage of programs for low-cost housing, medicine, and caregiving. Seniors who have served in the military can also contact their local VA center or hospital to see if they are eligible for any benefits. 

Set Up an In-Law Apartment

Setting up an in-law suite could be quite beneficial if your loved one cannot pay his or her bills. Instead of paying your loved one’s mortgage or rent, you might be able to add a new room to your home for much less money. You will also have more control over your loved one’s health and wellbeing. This transition could be challenging, but the savings could amount to tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Finances aren’t the only concern for seniors. Health conditions, injuries, and loneliness can significantly impact the way seniors age at home. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Cleveland West, Ohio, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To create a customized care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at (440) 455-4031 today.