Taking care of yourself when you support your kids and parents

If there is anything more difficult than being a parent, it is probably being a caregiver to your own ailing parents. For some people, caring for aging parents is a task that occurs well after their children are grown.

Unfortunately, some people find themselves in the difficult position of providing financial and social support both to their children and their parents at the same time. These caregivers can have their time and financial resources spread too thin for sustainability.

Referred to as the sandwich generation, these adults may feel like their responsibilities leave them with no time or money for themselves. As a caregiver to both children and older adults, you need great reserves of patience, to say nothing of the time and expense involved. Knowing your own limits and taking care of yourself are very important. Failing to do that could mean that you can't provide proper support to anyone who depends on you.

Consolidating households can make caregiving an easier task

If your children live with you but your parents live across town, you may find yourself driving back and forth every day. In addition to dropping your kids off to school, you may need to take your parents grocery shopping, get them to doctors' appointments or otherwise handle the daily tasks of life.

Combine that with the responsibilities that children bring and the need to continue working a job, and you may find yourself without enough hours in the day to get everything done. Having your parents move in with you can mean giving up some privacy and some of your space. However, it also eliminates the stress of commuting while caregiving.

More importantly, it also frees up money that your parents were paying in rent or toward a mortgage to contribute to your household expenses. The additional financial resources, coupled with the extra time, can make combining your households the most reasonable solution for those caring for children and parents simultaneously.

Help your parents plan for their future needs now

Choosing to move your parents into your home before it is completely medically necessary can take a lot of stress off of you. So too can planning for potential long-term care in the future, such as residency in the nursing home.

Assist your parents through the process of creating a thorough estate plan or even a trust to help them qualify for Medicaid and similar government resources in the future. You shouldn't have to bear the practical and financial burden of providing for your parents and children indefinitely.

Talking with an attorney who understands long-term care planning and estate planning laws in Georgia can help you and your parents make the best decisions as you move forward with your caregiving situation.

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