Money issues are always of paramount concern when an eldercare discussion begins. The presumed cost of eldercare can frequently frighten a family from any type of action—even when action is necessary for the safety and well-being of their aging loved one. In addition, poor communication, rumor and assumptions, and a generalized lack of eldercare knowledge frequently undermines the process—well before an effective eldercare solution can be formulated. Add in a heavy dose of family conflict, and solutions can be stalled, fought over, or avoided. Avoidance of the topic can prove to be even more costly, as delays in quality care often compromise the safety and well-being of the senior.
The topics of money and the cost of eldercare need to be addressed—and often the discussion starts around the parent’s kitchen table. However, a generalized uneasiness is often present when an adult child is forced to discuss money issues with a parent. Children, regardless of age, are often not privy to their parent’s financial balance sheet. Parents frequently do not share their income or financial portfolio with their adult children, so assumptions are often made that may not be accurate. Mom and Dad could have lived a modest life and now have substantial savings and a comfortable retirement income; whereas, a more extravagant couple could have spent every penny they earned.