You can read my first post about The Sandwich Generation for a little background information about my family.
There are so many decisions that have to be made when a parent gets older and can no longer do everything for themselves.
Here are just a few questions to think about when preparing to care for ones parents.
The Sandwich Generation Making Decisions
Are they going to stay in their own home, or move in with one of their children?
Will they need in home care? Just help with housework and meals? For bathing a couple of times a week? Full time, 24 hour a day care? If you have to hire someone, who will pay for it?
Do they need nursing home care? Who is going to pay for it?
Do they have enough resources to pay for it themselves?
Or insurance that will pay for it?
Did you know that Medicare doesn’t pay for long term nursing home stays? Medicaid has many rules about when they will pay for a nursing home, basically, the patient has to be down to $2,000 in assets before they will pay. Which means they will have to sell their home.
Believe it or not, those are the easy questions.
The hard questions pertain to how to best meet the needs and wants of the elderly parent, while trying to meet the needs and wants of your own family, at the same time.
Does your parent want to remain in their own home? Or do they prefer to move to a nursing home? How will having your parent move into your home, affect your family?
You may want to take care of your parent at home, but they are adamant about going into a nursing home. Or they may be adamant about staying in their home, and you are unable to care for them yourself there.
All of these questions are hard to answer. The answers will vary from person to person and family to family.
It can feel so overwhelming when you are in the midst of making all these decisions.
Which is where we now are.
Thankfully, most of these decisions do not have to be made all at one time. Unless it is an emergency situation, you should have time to make some or all of these decisions.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of questions to ask your parent and yourself. Your parent and your family may have different situations and needs. Most families do.
My goal in sharing this is to let you know you are not alone. There is not one right way of caring for an elderly parent while caring your your own family. Hopefully, this list will help you find the right way for you.