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PREPARING TO CAREFOR ELDERLY PARENTSA Dignitas Briefing PaperDIGNITASA PRACTICAL GUIDE ON ASSISTINGAGING PARENTS WITH FINA...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoCaring for Elderly Parents:Welcome ...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoPreparing to Carefor Elderly Parent...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoCost: Caregivers lose over $3trilli...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 1: AwarenessOf your parents’ ...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 2: AwarenessEstablishing your...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 2: AssistanceAssisting your p...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 2: AssistanceManaging the imp...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 3: Full-time SupportUnderstan...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 3: Full-time SupportManaging ...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoDignitas: We help familiesprepare f...
Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoAdditional Resources: Expertinforma...
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Dignitas Briefing Paper: Preparing to Care for Aging Parents

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Dignitas provides clients concerned with the challenges of elder care with a wide range of financial advisory, planning and life management services to support their needs. Our holistic planning process helps families make better decisions through access to expert opinions.

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Dignitas Briefing Paper: Preparing to Care for Aging Parents

  1. 1. PREPARING TO CAREFOR ELDERLY PARENTSA Dignitas Briefing PaperDIGNITASA PRACTICAL GUIDE ON ASSISTINGAGING PARENTS WITH FINANCIAL ANDHEALTH CARE MATTERS
  2. 2. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoCaring for Elderly Parents:Welcome to the SandwichGeneration.Are you a part of the Sandwich Generation? According to the Pew Research Center nearly half (47%) ofadults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financiallysupporting a grown child. And about 15% of middle-aged adults are providing financial support to both anaging parent and a child. Caring for an aging parent can lead to physical, physiological and financial stress.Dignitas’ Guide Preparing to Care for Elderly Parents provides caregivers with useful information and toolsfor managing the phases of care as their parents age.1While every family faces unique circumstances, preparing for the care of elderly parents as they age candecrease the burden on families. At Dignitas we work with clients to prepare families for matters related toelder care. Our work includes helping clients budget the cost of health care, organizing a parents’ financialand health care records, identifying the right service providers, and ensuring families have the proper legaldocuments in place.Request a ConsultationRequest a Consultation Video OverviewVideo OverviewDignitas Service OfferingWEALTH COACHING: Dignitas wealth coaching providesexecutives and entrepreneurs a unique platform to concentrateon developing the habits and maximizing the skills to help youmeet your financial goals.PERSONAL BENCHMARKING: Benchmarking allows familiesto understand where their current position is in relation to aparticular goal.BALANCE SHEET ADVISORY: Dignitas serves as a fiduciaryto your family and provides tested and untarnished financialadvice, as the firm does not participate in any third partycommissions or fees.21: Source: Pew Research: The Sandwich Generation, Rising Financial Burdens for Middle-Aged Americans http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/01/30/the-sandwich-generation/; Kaiser Health News: The Parent Trap: Adult Children Care For Elderly Parents http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2012/march/01/parent-trap.aspx
  3. 3. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoPreparing to Carefor Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoNicholas Delgado founded Dignitas to provide clientswith personalized, high quality and independentadvice and solutions that allow them to simplifytheir lives. Nick’s commitment to elder care issuesincludes serving as Chairman of the Board at LittleBrothers Friends of the Elderly Chicago Chapter,a non-profit that remains focused on alleviatingloneliness among elders.With 15+ years of experience in the financial servicesand wealth advisory industry, Nick has become ago-to advisor for start-up/high growth entrepreneurs,seasoned executives and individuals entering theirsecond life.Follow Nick on Twitter@DignitasCWO3About the Author
  4. 4. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoCost: Caregivers lose over $3trillion in lost earnings, benefitsand savings.4Stages of Care Caregiver’s RoleAwareness• Become your parents’ key advisor.• Assess your parents’ health care needs.• Monitor their financial assets.• Help them with major financial decisions.Assistance• Engage your parents health care providers.• Research and select service providers forhealth care, lifestyle, and financial matters.• Assist parents with financial matters.• Assist with basic activities for daily living.Full-time Support• Determine where your parents will live (i.e.smaller home, nursing or assisted living, in yourresidence).• Oversee your parents’ health care needs.• Manage their basic activities for daily living.• Administer their finances and take on anyfinancial liabilities.There are approximately 9.7 million Americans over the age of 50 caring for their parents. The cost of caringfor an elderly parent is significant. According to MetLife, total wage, social security, and private pensionlosses due to caregiving could range from $283,716 for men to $324,044 for women.2Given the high costs associated with being a caregiver, families need to better prepare for and understandthe financial and emotional costs associated with becoming a caregiver. Below is a chart that describes thestages of care giving. While the stages can be linear some adult children find themselves immediately thrustinto providing full-time support due to unforeseen circumstances.2: Source: The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers https://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/publications/studies/2011/mmi-caregiving-costs-working-caregivers.pdf
  5. 5. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 1: AwarenessOf your parents’ changingcircumstances.5The first stage of preparing for your role as acaregiver is by recognizing that your parents’changing health is impacting their quality of life.This stage can be the easiest to delay or evenignore as it requires children to recognize that theirparents will not be in their lives forever. In addition,it can be uncomfortable for parents and adultchildren to discuss matters such as health care orfinances.Becoming Your Parents’ Key AdvisorAs a parent ages, adult children must learnhow to serve as a key advisor to their parents.This includes listening to parents for informationon how they are managing their personal andfinancial affairs and actively engaging them ontheir lifestyle choices. Establishing trust, two-way communication, and transparency is key toobtaining the information necessary to monitorand assist parents.Providing value-add assistance such asresearching health care issues on their behalf,attending meetings with key advisors such asdoctors and financial advisors, and helping themorganize their finances can further strengthentheir trust and faith that you are a resource forthem when they have a major issue in their life.A collaborative dialogue with your parent makesit easier to obtain information that can indicatechanges in their mental and physical capacity overtime.Assess Your Parents’ Health Care NeedsBy engaging in an honest and respectful dialogue withyour parents you can better prepare for managingtheir health care needs. One of the first signs that yourparent is aging is a change in their health. If uponanswering any of the following questions about yourparent you have additional concerns it’s time to furtherassess their current and future health care needs.• Are they taking care of themselves?• Are they experiencing memory loss?• Did they recently hurt themselves in the home?• Do they have difficulty driving?• Have they experienced significant weight loss?• Are they in good spirits?• Do they have difficulty walking or moving around?
  6. 6. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 2: AwarenessEstablishing yourself as yourparents trusted advisor.6Assessing Your Parents FinancesAsking your parents how much money they makeor how much they have saved for retirement canbe difficult. But as your parents’ age its importantto have a basic understanding of their assets andliabilities. Here are some easy ways to uncover theirfinancial information without offending them.1. Offer to help them complete their annual taxreturn.2. Coordinate with your financial advisor to providethem a “Second Opinion” of their investmentportfolio.3. Help your parents with their “Spring Cleaning”and offer to scan and organize their financial andlegal documents.4. Assist your parents with using their computerand offer to setup electronic bill pay during theprocess.5. Offer to help your parents pull their annual freecredit report.6. Ask your parents for a referral to their coreadvisers (i.e. CPA, financial advisor, insurancebroker) and use it as an opportunity to assessthe advisor’s suitability.Monitor Their Financial AssetsAccording to MetLife the annual financial loss by victimsof elder financial abuse was estimated to be at least$2.9 billion dollars in 2011, a 12% increase from the$2.6 billion estimated in 2008.3As your parents age it’s vital to understand their financialpicture and to help protect them from making baddecisions that can impair their financial health. Beginto have regular discussions with them about theirfinancial status and actively work to help them organize,consolidate, and better manage their personal finances.Finally, engage and monitor their financial advisors andconfirm their references and licenses.Help Them with Major Financial DecisionsWhile parents might have displayed good financialjudgement in the past, as their mental healthdeteriorates they are more prone to making baddecisions or being taken advantage of. Activecommunication can help increase your awareness whena parent is making a major financial decision such asa new investment or purchase of a home or car. If thepurchase decision seems abnormal, actively engagethem in their thought process.If you have concerns about a service provider orpurchase decision encourage your parents to get asecond opinion before they move forward or offer to jointhem when they are ready to make the purchase. Whileyou may not always agree with their lifestyle choicesyour role is not to approve each expense, but to ensureyour parent is not compromising their financial securityor being misled or exploited by a third party.3) Source: The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse https://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/publications/studies/2011/mmi-elder-financial-abuse.pdf
  7. 7. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 2: AssistanceAssisting your parents with theirdaily living needs.Engage Your Parents’ Health Care ProvidersWhen an elderly parents’ physical and mental healthhas deteriorated ,one of a caregiver’s primary roles isto understand their parents’ health care needs andensure they are receiving the proper type of treatment.This includes meeting with the various doctors treatingyour parent, having copies of their medical recordson file, monitoring their changing health and behavior,and assisting them with making health care decisions.Research and Select Service Providers for HealthCare, Lifestyle, and Financial MattersCreating a support network is vital for caregivers. Thisincludes coordinating paid service providers such asin-home care nurses and overseeing financial, legaland other advisors. It’s important to find advisors whospecialize in elder issues and can provide a caregiverwith additional resources and information.7Why Your Parents Need a Power of AttorneyA durable power of attorney gives a child the legalauthority to act on their parents behalf. The authoritycan go into effect immediately or under certaincircumstances such as when a doctor certifies thatthe parent is incapacitated. A power of attorney isessential for actively managing your parents’ financialand health care matters.1. A power of attorney gives a person, or people,authority to manage finances and other legalaffairs if the person needing care is not capableof managing these. It can be long-term or short-term and allows the party that has power ofattorney to manage someone’s finances, sign taxreturns, handle investments and other importantmatters.2. A health care power of attorney allows the persondesignated to make health care decisions ifthe person being cared for is unable to make adecision for themselves. For example, someoneholding power of attorney may be able to decideagainst a dangerous surgery if he or she feels thatit is in the patient’s best interest.Adult children who are actively assisting with some of their parents’ daily living manage to do so in manydifferent forms. Some children are able to coordinate care remotely by using outsourced paid assistancewhile others do so by living close to their parents. Regardless of their situation, at this point a caregiver islikely spending several hours a week and could even be contributing financial resources to aid in the careof their parents. At this stage it’s vital that a caregiver focuses on ensuring their parents’ financial and healthmatters are well organized in order to ease the burden of care.
  8. 8. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 2: AssistanceManaging the implications ofyour parents’ changing health.8Assist Parents with Financial MattersAs your parents’ mental and physical health changes, routine activities such as paying bills on time andmonitoring investments can be overlooked. If you’ve actively engaged your parents on matters relating totheir personal finances as they have gotten older you are better prepared to determine when it’s time to takea more active decision-making role. In order to take control over their financial decisions they will have todesignate you as their agent under a durable power of attorney.If you’ve shied away from these conversations in the past you might only learn that a parent has made a baddecision or neglected a financial commitment once it’s too late. If you are noticing significant unopened mailat your parents’ home, bill collectors calling your parents, or your parents discussing what appears to berisky or obscure investments it’s time to assess the situation and increase your engagement before it’s toolate.Assist with Aspects of Daily LivingDuring the Assistance Stage you will likely takeon partial responsibility for managing routine dailyactivities such as grocery shopping, maintainingtheir residence, and coordinating medical needsand appointments. Caregivers approach theseresponsibilities in multiple ways including taking onthe full burden, coordinating the work with otherfamily members, and outsourcing the tasks to paidservice providers.As caregivers take on more of these tasks theyoften overlook the impact of their caregiverresponsibilities on their professional careersCaregivers should monitor the time they arespending on caregiver issues to determine whento seek outside help. Some companies provideemployer assistance programs to help employeesmanage complicated personal situations. Acaregiver can also ask for assistance from siblings,spouses or other family members.
  9. 9. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 3: Full-time SupportUnderstanding the financialimplications of being a caregiver.Determine Where Your Parents Will LiveAs a caregiver one of the most important and difficult decisions you might have to make is determiningwhere your parent will live. This decision may upset your parent who might prefer to remain in their currenthome even if they are unable to physically or financially maintain it. Once you determine an ideal locationand living situation for your parents you will be in charge of selling their current residence, organizing andmoving their personal property, assisting your parents with the psychological elements of the transition, andensuring that their new home is meeting your parents needs.9Preparing for Your Parents FutureHousing NeedsAt some point you might determine that yourparents can no longer remain in their currenthome. While the transition to a smaller home,assisted living facility, or nursing home is likelya process that will take many months or yearshere are some things that can help betterprepare your for the eventual move.• Help your parents declutter their home bygiving away old clothes and furniture tocharity.• Research your options in advanceand determine the costs and otherrequirements associated with each option.• When reviewing your options consider theirlocation to health care service providersand proximity to friends or other socialnetworks.• If you plan on moving your parent into yourhome, be realistic. Test out short-termtransition periods where they stay with youfor a month or two and determine if its along-term solution.Administer Their Finances and Take on Any FinancialLiabilitiesA new analysis of US Census Bureau data performed by WiderOpportunities for Women (WOW) finds that in 2011, 52%of elder-only households report incomes that do not coverbasic, daily expenses.4Even for seniors who have significantassets, caregivers must often oversee their financial decisionsand manage their daily finances as they are no longer able toproperly oversee their financial affairs. Below are some tips forbetter managing your parents• Confirm that you have been designated your parents durablepower of attorney.• Ensure that you are registered as the power of attorney onyour parents’ banking and personal accounts.• Leverage technology that helps you monitor their bankingand other financial accounts online as well as set-uppayment reminders and bill pay.• Monitor their eligibility for different sources of incomeincluding Social Security, pension benefits and income fromretirement accounts and trusts.• Register for government programs such as Medicare as wellas senior citizen discounts available for public transit, vehiclelicenses, real estate taxes, and utilities.• Maintain records of your parents’ financial statements andlegal documents such as wills, power of attorney, and trustdocuments.• Complete their tax returns and monitor their credit report onan annual basis.4) Source: Wider Opportunities For Women: Doing Without: Economic Insecurity and OlderAmericans http://www.wowonline.org/documents/OlderAmericansGenderbriefFINAL.pdf
  10. 10. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoStage 3: Full-time SupportManaging your parents dailylives.10Manage Their Activities of Daily LivingAt some point caregivers must manage parents daily taskssuch as grocery shopping, preparing meals and ensuringthat prescription medicines are properly administered. Forsome caregivers this responsibility becomes a full-time job,while others utilize paid service providers. Caregivers mustdetermine whether they can realistically stop working ordecrease the amount of hours they work and still meet theirfinancial obligations. It is important for caregivers to havea financial plan in place that helps them to understand theimplications of lost wage income, especially if they are overthe age of 50.Oversee Your Parents’ Health Care NeedsAt a certain point you may need to take over someor all of your parents’ health care decisions. Themanagement of their health care can include someor all of the following:• Scheduling doctors visits and managing theirprescription drug regimen.• Determining the types of health insuranceavailable for your parents and managing claimsand reimbursements.• Making health care decisions such asdetermining specific treatment options,approving a surgical procedure, and selectingmedical care providers.• Arranging for daily care such as a home healthaide, adult day care, or hospice care.Managing a parents’ health care, especially onewith a chronic medical condition, can be one ofthe most difficult and time consuming aspects ofbeing a caregiver. Meeting the challenge requiresactive communication with your parents health careproviders. Just as important is properly managingyour physical and psychological health. Caregiversare advised to leverage their personal networksas well as seek assistance from their health careproviders or caregiver support groups as a tool formaintaining their personal health.
  11. 11. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoDignitas: We help familiesprepare for the challenges ofelder care.11The Dignitas Elder Care Planning ToolkitDignitas provides clients concerned with the challenges of elder care with a wide range of financialadvisory, planning and life management services to support their needs. Our holistic planningprocess helps families make better decisions through access to expert advice.The Dignitas Elder Care Planning Toolkit Includes:• A caregiver responsibilities checklist.• Custom educational modules on elder care issues.• Access to a best-in-class advisory team on elder care matters (health, law, risk management)• Assistance with record keeping and financial management through our secure mobile technologyplatform.• Customized financial strategies and solutions for managing the cost associated with elder care.• Financial and identity fraud prevention monitoring system.To learn more on how Dignitas can help your family prepare for the challenges of elder care, please contact:Nicholas DelgadoPrincipal | Chief Wealth Officernick@mydignitas.comTwitter: @dignitascwo312.651.6131Dignitas111 E. Wacker DriveSuite 2606Chicago, IL 60601www.mydignitas.comDignitas provides the material in this briefing paper for informational purposes only. The material provided herein is not intendedto be tax, health care or legal advice. Nothing herein should be relied upon or used without consulting a tax advisor or lawyer toconsider your specific circumstances, possible changes to applicable laws, rules and regulations and other tax and legal issues.Dignitas is an Investment Advisor Registered with the State of Illinois.PersonalBenchmarkingBalanceSheet AdvisoryWealth Coaching
  12. 12. Share Dignitas’ Briefing Paper Preparing to Care for Elderly ParentsBy Nicholas DelgadoAdditional Resources: Expertinformation on managing eldercare issues.12Medicarewww.medicare.govMedicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people withdisabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant,sometimes called ESRD).AARPwww.aarp.orgAARP is a membership organization leading positive social change and delivering value to people age 50 and overthrough information, advocacy and service.Dignitaswww.mydignitas.comDignitas is a leading multi-family office, capital advisory, and asset management firm that provides a wide range ofservices to entrepreneurs, executives, and non-profits.
  13. 13. © Copyright 2013 Dignitas, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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