Baby Boomers Who Care for Elderly Parents: New Age-Old Challenges
“You’re only as old as you feel.” … “Age is just a number.” … “60 is the new 40.”
We’ve heard all the clichés about aging.
The Baby Boomer generation is the one that gave rise and credence to the sayings. In fact, according to an article I read, a recent study conducted by researchers at Yale and the University of Southern California concluded that Americans are aging more slowly today than they were two decades ago.
The reasons they offer to be partly responsible includes a decline in smoking, obesity and medication use among this age group. While preserving their own health, for Baby Boomers caring for aging parents, it’s often a different story entirely.
The parents of the Baby Boomers generation grew up in simpler times.
They lived through a world war and worked hard. However they were behind the times in thinking about the effects of diet, smoking and medications on the aging process. They were also pretty advanced in years before the digital age took hold and most people in their 80’s find themselves intimidated by technology. In fact, Baby Boomers were not weaned in the digital age either and many manage to barely keep up with the changes that happen at lightning speed.
Many Baby Boomers now care for elderly parents – even as the primary caregiver.
When a parent has Alzheimer’s or has had a stroke, accident or other illness that makes them look, feel and act even older than their chronological age, all of those clichéd sayings I mentioned earlier sound more like platitudes. This is a time when adult children caregivers are coming face-to-face with their own issues. Sending kids to college, trying to put money aside for their own retirement and providing care for their parents. These are mostly financial in light of the historic recession that hit a decade ago and from which many people have not rebounded as well as physical and mental.
Every generation is faced with unique challenges.
Caring for aging parents today is very different than it was for the generation prior. Facing all of life’s issues today requires deft financial planning. For some people, it may seem like it’s too late for any kind of financial plan to work. Please, be open minded and at least explore the options that could save crucial funds you now have from market downturns and provide long-term care for your elderly loved ones.