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Older adult children may struggle to care for ailing parents

As you age, you may feel more and more appreciative of the fact that your parents are still around. Many people lose their parents at young ages and others are fortunate enough to live a considerable portion of their lives with at least one parent in the picture. While you understand that your parents will not live forever, you may wish that they could.

Of course, as you get older, so do your parents, and the likelihood of one or both of them needing long-term care is a real possibility. While you may feel that you could provide the care that they may need, you may want to remember that the need for care may not come about until you reach retirement age yourself.

Retirees caring for parents

As people begin to live longer lives, more individuals nearing retirement age find themselves in caretaker roles. If you have the mental and physical ability to provide the needed care, it may not seem like much of a burden, but you cannot predict what your health will look like at the time your parents' needs become more demanding. Some statistics regarding caring for parents include the following:

  • 17 percent of adults will end up caring for their parents at some point.
  • 12 percent of adults who reached or exceeded the age of 70 care for a parent.
  • 10 percent of individuals in their 60s also hold a caretaker role for a parent.

These statistics stem from research that the Center for Retirement Research at an out-of-state college conducted. The information came from 80,000 interviews that took place over the course of 15 years from 1995 to 2010.

Concerns for providing care

While it may be a joy that your parents are continuing their lives, the older they get and the older you get, the more likely it is that serious health issues could affect any of you. In the event that you do end up caring for your parent as an older person, you could end up facing your own health problems that could easily get worse due to the physical and mental strain of caring for him or her.

Planning ahead

Fortunately, estate planning can help address the possibility of needing care in the future. Not only can you create your own plan, but you could also encourage your parents to create plans if they have not already. These plans could help you understand their desires for care and possibly prevent you from landing in a difficult position later in life.

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