The Sandwich Generation: Actively Helping with Mom and Dad’s Future

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Preparing for Life in an Assisted Living Facility

While having coffee with a friend, she spoke about her parents making the choice to sell their home and decrease their”home upkeep” time. While it was a fairly big change, they moved to a very nice community living facility. Due to her mom’s diminishing memory, this will make life a bit easier for her dad and help ease the minds of the adult children. Even more interesting was the plan set in motion to pay for their future living expenses. Life today is active, especially for women aged 45 – 56 who care for both their parents and children. These people are caught in the “sandwich generation” and these columns are focused on issues affecting you.

So, their family gathered information on the costs of home care, assisted living and skilled care. Costs range quite a bit, but $3,200 is a good starting point for assisted living for a couple and skilled care can run from $5,000 to $10,000 monthly per person depending upon type of care needed. She continued to explain that Medicare Plans typically do not cover this type of care. So what does a person, or couple, do to pay for this type of expense?

In their case, several years ago the adult children set up a plan to split the premium payments for an insurance plan that covers home health care, assisted living and facility care, if ever needed. She explained that they looked at this long term care insurance plan as a way to help their parents have availability to quality care, but also a way to protect their inheritance.

She went on to say that the odds a married couple will need long term care is about 70% and more than one in ten will need more than 5 years of care in a nursing home. It seems odd to think about adult children getting together and paying premiums, but she said they all agreed it made good sense. Their mom and dad seem to enjoy their new found time by playing pool and being part of activities while finding peace with more safety. Of course, their dad kept his car and they get out as often as they wish.

Now is the time to create at a plan that might help assure your parents will be taken care.

By getting a brother and sisters together, ideas can be discussed and a future plan and planning tools can be agreed upon. You will find some helpful tools on the MRMS-INC website found below.

Helping mom and dad and caring for your children simultaneously is not easy. It is very helpful to discuss and plan for reasonable future events, and a sandwich generationer should guide their parent through these issues including the primary issue of safety, while being careful not to take all control away from a parent. Once again, it is important to start talking, making suggestions and guiding early, do not wait for a crisis. If you would like a list of “questions to ask in different aspects of care” see our website and look under the “Patient Advocacy Division”.

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Steven A. Buttice is the president of Medical Reimbursement & Management Services, Inc., a firm specializing in issues affecting seniors, including seminars and consultation on Medicare Plans, Long Term Care and other types of insurance, claims issues, and sales/service of insurance products since 1984.

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