Next, it is important to work with your aging parents to understand what their desires are for healthcare and for finances. For healthcare, a first step is often determining whether an aging parent wants to live on his/her own, and whether that is a possibility.
Based upon the answers to those two questions, you can then determine together whether your aging parent can remain in his/her own home, whether he/she can live with relatives, or whether a nursing home is most appropriate.
If remaining in his/her home, or moving in with relatives, other provisions must be considered. Will the house require any remodeling to accommodate the aging parent’s needs? If moving in with relatives, can that relative claim the aging parent as a dependent for income tax purposes?
If your parent desires to move into a new home, there may be other considerations to take into account, such as a hefty security deposit or a substantial contractual agreement, both of which can tie up a parent’s liquid assets.
At this point, a discussion about finances and healthcare come into play. What medical insurance do your parents have besides Medicare, if any? What is covered on their health insurance? Do your parents have assets set aside to pay for care in their home, if that is their preference?
A discussion about whether your aging parents have purchased long-term care insurance also is appropriate. If they have not, it is a good idea to consider whether to purchase this insurance coverage.
While on the topic of finances, it is important to work with aging parents to understand their financial goals, their income sources, their monthly debts and expenses, and financial logistics. This includes where they keep their financial records (tax returns, where their bank and brokerage accounts are maintained, whether they bank online) and where you can find their login information, and whether they have a financial planner, a CPA, and/or an attorney.