Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Women Care for Aging Parents

According to an online survey conducted for Securian Financial Group, Inc, women expect to care for their aging parents and are willing to take on the responsibility, but few take steps to plan for it. 84 percent of the women surveyed with a parent who had received care indicated no plans were made until care was needed. This procrastination can create a crisis situation, forcing family members to take unplanned time off work to provide care or scrambling to find quality care, either at home or in a care facility.

Other findings of the study included:

Of the women whose parents both are living, approximately 22 percent indicated they expect to take time off of work to care for aging parents, while 52 percent indicated they did not expect to take time off.

Those expectations may not be realistic. A 2004 report by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, revealed that at least six out of 10 employed caregivers adjusted their work schedules because of caregiving responsibilities. An estimated nine percent left the workplace altogether and 10 percent reduced their hours from full to part time.

Nearly half of all women in the Securian survey said they are concerned about the quality of care their parents will receive because of the women’s own limited finances. Thirty-two percent said they are concerned about quality of care because of their parents’ limited finances.

With the annual cost of nursing home care averaging $75,000, this is a legitimate concern. The likelihood of needing long-term health care sometime in your life is currently 43 percent and that number is expected to rise as the population ages. It’s important that women explore care issues with their parents and start planning for their own future care needs.”

Sixty two percent of women reported that they are concerned their money will not last through retirement and 57 percent agreed that after meeting current financial obligations, there is little money to put away for retirement.

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