Millions of us Boomers are caring for an aging parent. Some take their loved one into their home, and some move to be closer to the aging parent. Some provide care from a distance. Some live nearby and do a great deal, often on a daily basis for their family member. Many see parents living to surprisingly old age and see the amount of care their loved one requires.
I have a friend whose grandmother was very independent for quite a long time, but she had a stroke and fell. Everyone thought she was at her end. Her granddaughter, in her 60’s, moved grandma to a care facility near the granddaughter’s home. Grandma didn’t recognize anyone at first. They planned for her demise. But she pulled through. She’s going on 105 years old now and her health seems to be stable. She is improving, though still very frail.
Grandma, in this case, has assets. She is paying for her own ruinously expensive care facility, which required supplementing the staff with a private caregiver from outside the home. She has “graduated” from that level of need now and isn’t ready to die just yet. But what if grandma didn’t have any money? Her family would provide for her. Imagine you are in grandma’s shoes.
Many people simply do not want to face this issue, or somehow believe that they will avoid needing long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years.” About 35 percent of aging individuals will need nursing facility care. That’s us, too, not just our parents and grandparents.Here are 3 things every Boomer should do if you do not want to become a burden to your kids when you’re older.
I’ve heard some friends in their 60s remark: “If I got to the point where I couldn’t take care of myself, I’d shoot myself”. Well, that’s actually not what happens. Age related disabilities like dementia sneak up on you. You probably won’t be thinking of ending it all as you are still able to do many of the things you enjoy. Needing some help is typically not an all or nothing proposition. We just need to be realistic about it.
I hope I am persuading you why we independent, freedom loving Boomers must recognize that we will probably not be as vigorous at 85 as we might be at 55 or 65. We just might need someone to give us a hand. And it’s not free. So, planning ahead as early as we can makes perfect sense. Make it your resolution. Look down the road and be ready for your own future.