Aging Together: Retirement-Age Adult Children Caring for Elderly Parents

By Marissa B. Marshall, Esq., CELA on September 16, 2019

Because of longer life spans today, many people in their 60s and 70s have parents who are still living. These adult children, many of whom are technically senior citizens themselves, end up “aging together” with their parents. Instead of spending their “golden years” of retirement as they had initially planned, these adult children may find themselves serving as caregivers for their parents. As discussed in a recent New York Times article, this can be both a gift and a burden.

At Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC, elder law and related fields form a significant part of our practice. We have the only two certified elder law attorneys in Columbia and Montour counties on our legal team. Call us at (570) 784-5211 for sound legal guidance in issues concerning your elderly loved one, or your own estate and life-care planning.

What Are the Issues with Aging Together?

Living in a personal care home is not an option most retirement-age people in Pennsylvania would choose for themselves, and they hate to do it to their parents. Unfortunately, that often means caring for their elderly parents personally or dipping into their savings to pay for the care provided by others. Unless the aged parent has a substantial nest egg, funds for home aides can run out rapidly. This is especially true if the parent struggles with dementia.

When planning for their retirement, most people have a particular lifestyle in mind, which probably includes doing the things they enjoy, volunteering for worthy causes, and spending time with their children and grandchildren. Serving as a caregiver for an elderly parent who needs around-the-clock care can displace or defer their dreams for retirement.

Most of us are expecting a lessening of responsibilities in our late 60s and early 70s. This is a time to kick back and enjoy the leisure time we have earned. Although many retirement-age adults consider it a gift to still have a parent with them, caring for a frail senior citizen in his/her late 80s or 90s can also be a burden that negatively impacts a caregiver’s health, personally and financially.

Aging together can affect an adult child’s finances in several different ways. For example, adult children may feel compelled to retire early or cut back their hours to care for an elderly parent instead of saving for retirement. They may also end up draining their retirement savings to provide for an aged parent’s needs.

How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help?

Our certified elder law attorneys (CELAs) at Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC, are not just authorities on legal issues affecting seniors. We are also familiar with other vital resources and services – both public and private – that can help meet the needs of your elderly loved ones. Our life-care planning services involve working with you and your family to meet medical, legal, and emotional needs, both now and in the future.

We can work with you to create a life-care plan for the health, safety, and well-being of your mother or father in the least restrictive environment. Call us today for the legal and coordinating help you need if you are aging together with an elderly parent.

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Posted in: Seniors