This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo about the role reversal of caring for a parent on a budget.
Role Reversal: Caring For Parents On A Budget
Parents spend their lives looking after their kids, so it’s only right that children return the gesture. Nobody wants to see their mom and dad have to struggle in later life, not when their golden years are supposed to be some of the best. As an adult, it’s down to you to figure out how to make sure they are comfortable and you’ll do whatever possible.
The sticking point most kids don’t realize is money. Taking on extra mouths to feed is going to raise the family expenses. You’re more than happy to do it, yet it does take some planning to stop the bank balance from running dry. 24 hour care at home can be difficult so it is best to be prepared.
Below are the things you might want to consider if you’re on a budget and caring for a parent.
Move Them In
Probably the easiest option is to pay for a nursing home so that they get the treatment they deserve. Of course, that’s a couple of hundred bucks every month which is a large outgoing. To eliminate the expense altogether, you can move them into the family home. Yes, it might be cramped and it will be tough, but it’ll save you a significant amount in caregiving. If it gets too much, you can hire a professional in-home caregiver on a part-time basis to provide help. It’s a lot cheaper than paying a full-time rate and offers your loved ones their independence.
Speaking of care homes, the initial price might come as a shock. Most people assume they can’t afford it and move onto another company. However, it’s essential to consider what your parents get in terms of care and how it will save you money. A low rate will result in a basic level of care, and you might have to subsidize your parents due to the lack of resources. Plenty of children have to buy their loved one’s food because the meals aren’t up to scratch. The best services offer everything from quality nurses to insurance included in the price.
Apply For Benefits
If your parents are living in your home under your care, you classify as a caregiver. And, that means you are eligible for benefits to cover the costs of living. Although it’s not a massive amount of money, it should be enough to ease the coffers at the end of the month. To find out whether you qualify or not, speak to your local authority about an application. It’s worth doing it regardless as you never know the result.
Use Their Income
Seniors have a pension and a nest egg to live off in later life. Now, there’s no need to take control of their finances because you’re not their accountant. But, it’s important to come to an agreement about contributing to their care. For example, their benefits might pay for a nurse on a part-time basis. Or, a small amount of their pension can go on their grocery shopping each week. When using this money try to get the best deals you can on everyday expenses. Check the local area for cheap internet and cheap electricity rates. Most parents will want to take care of themselves anyway so will likely agree.
Finally, if you need help with budgeting, then don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of resources online which spell it out in easy-to-understand terms.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.