Caregiving

How to Help Your Aging Parents

Here are the basics of meeting the financial needs of mom and dad as they get older.

Are you among the growing number of Americans who count themselves reluctant members of Generation S? The "S" stands for sandwich, and to qualify you must be feeling sandwiched between the financial demands of raising children and the growing financial needs of your aging parents -- to say nothing of your own financial needs. "Squeezed" might be a better word for it.

Aging parents are often the first to notice that they could use some help tending to their finances. Sometimes their children notice the telltale signs: bills that go unpaid, confusion about financial and other matters where there used to be alertness, growing anxiety about medical and other expenses.

You may have to act like a detective to get to the bottom of the problem and gather the information you need to help them. Where to begin? Start with the basics.

Your Parents' Income and Assets Know how much money they have, locate their important documents and make sure they have the right insurance coverage.

If Your Parents Become Incapacitated Make sure your parent have the right documents to spell out their desires if they can no longer make decisions for themselves.

Where Will Your Parents Live? They have several options, including ways to stay in their own home.

When Your Parents Need Financial Help You might be entitled to tax breaks if you're helping support mom and dad.

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