Becoming a Caregiver

It’s difficult to anticipate the future needs of aging parents. What is easy to predict is this: If extensive long-term care services for a parent become necessary, much of the cost will have to come from their personal finances – or your own. First Midwest offers access to a number of products that can help pay for long-term care if and when it’s needed, including:

Which option is best depends on many factors including age, health status, risk of needing long-term care and your personal financial situation. The earlier you address this issue, the more time you’ll have to save, and the less costly any of your options are likely to be.

When you do plan for the care of aging parents, it's best that these decisions are made proactively, before a crisis arises, and that they involve the whole family. You’ll understand your parents’ care preferences, achieve greater peace of mind, reduce conflict and guilt, have more choices, and gain more control over the situation. It’s important to discuss all the various care options as honestly as possible – as well as the resources available to pay for them.

Broadly speaking, long-term care of aging parents who can no longer care for themselves will boil down to three options: having the parent move in with an adult child; moving the parent into a long-term care or assisted living facility; or providing financial assistance to cover the parent’s needs. All of these are likely to strain a family’s financial resources:

  • Taking in a parent can cost $7,000 or more a year, including higher utility, food and transportation costs, and possibly home remodeling
  • Providing financial support can consume at least $5,000 per year, if not much more, for expenses such as travel, medicine, phone bills, meals and home maintenance
  • Covering the average expense of institutional long-term care, according to 2008 government figures, can cost:
    • $187/day for a semi-private room in a nursing home
    • $209/day for a private room in a nursing home
    • $3,008/month for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility

These figures do not account for the value of lost wages and retirement plan savings by the caregiver; nor do they figure in potential tax breaks that may help offset the cost of care.

Clearly there are many factors to consider regarding the potential need for extended care of aging parents. Your First Midwest Financial Consultant is here to help you create a plan that will work for your family.

Call 800-241-1749 to get connected with a First Midwest Financial Consultant and learn more about the Long Term Care and Annuity solutions we provide today.

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