Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

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Kenkat
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Kenkat »

My experience has been for small things where you choose to do it, you pay. Parking, gas, whatever - your choice, you pay. I can’t imagine saying, “hey you owe me 3 bucks for gas”. I always did whatever I could to be nice or helpful - whatever you need, let me know. Really, any time day or night - call me and if I can come over or help, I will. Now, did I ever think, oh no, not again? Yes, but I’d never let them know that.

I also know sometimes parents would want to pay for lunch or what have you. I always graciously accepted and said thank you. I think most parents realize all of the nice things that you are doing and want to repay you, even if in some small way. They are the parents after all.

When it comes to groceries, durable medical equipment, etc. for them, to be used in their house, they would typically reimburse us. If we bought something for them to use in our house, we’d usually just cover it.
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8foot7
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by 8foot7 »

I will add: If for some reason you feel like your parents won’t reimburse you or will hold it against you for asking, then one approach would be to let what’s already happened go but stop buying durable equipment from now on. You can always help them with the logistics of the order but when it comes time to pay, ask for their credit card or have them write out a check.
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LiveSimple
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by LiveSimple »

Just for me / us, we will take care of these to our parents before any other charities. so no issues here.
Colorado13
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Colorado13 »

I suspect this is not a financial issue at all but is likely a family issue. Family issues can be very complicated. OP refernces $2 million net worth in a November 2019 post but we don't know expenses, family dynamics etc. that may be contributing to his/her inquiry.
smitcat
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by smitcat »

We helped 3 family members with a lot of medical costs - never really ocurred to us to do anything else or ask for anything back.
YMMV
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miamivice
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by miamivice »

Colorado13 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:53 pm I suspect this is not a financial issue at all but is likely a family issue. Family issues can be very complicated. OP refernces $2 million net worth in a November 2019 post but we don't know expenses, family dynamics etc. that may be contributing to his/her inquiry.
No, I'm asking from a financial standpoint. I made it clear in the original post that both we and well as our parents can afford the expenses. It's not a question of who can afford them except for the lost wages, but what expenses they should pay related to their care versus what expenses we should pay.

With regards to the lost wages, I think all parents will have to figure out how to handle their care without expecting us to go without pay at our work. We need to keep our jobs to pay for our children, our mortgage, and our other regular expenses.
Last edited by miamivice on Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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miamivice
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by miamivice »

8foot7 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:51 pm I will add: If for some reason you feel like your parents won’t reimburse you or will hold it against you for asking, then one approach would be to let what’s already happened go but stop buying durable equipment from now on. You can always help them with the logistics of the order but when it comes time to pay, ask for their credit card or have them write out a check.
I think this is the best post in the entire thread. Yes, the parents who need the help now are willing to pay to buy something (generally) but harder to get reimbursements from. So we just let them buy what they need. They don't buy it, then they must not need it too bad.

Thanks for your post.
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celia
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by celia »

Fast forward 30 years and assume you needed medical care, which of these would you be responsible for:
miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:25 am - parking at the hospital parking lot to visit them me while they are I am there (relatively inexpensive)
- time away from work without pay (FMLA or the like) (relatively expensive)
- durable medical goods not covered by Medicare
- Gas spent driving them me to medical appointments, hospitals, etc
I don’t know about you, but I see the durable medical equipment as my expense if insurance doesn’t cover it. The rest are benefits for my kids, not for my benefit.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by 123 »

I wonder if the OP asks for seperate checks if he/she invites his/her parents out to a restaurant. Or maybe he/she doesn't do any inviting for the sake of economy.
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celia
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by celia »

123 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:20 pm I wonder if the OP asks for seperate checks if he/she invites his/her parents out to a restaurant. Or maybe he/she doesn't do any inviting for the sake of economy.
I do my parents’ tax return, then I drive them to a restaurant where they cover the entire meal in exchange. Win, win.
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WillRetire
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by WillRetire »

OP:

If parents have the means, they should pay for their own durable medical goods. Be sure to remind them they can deduct it as a medical expense.

If they do not have the financial means, well, that raises other questions like: have they applied for financial assistance? Do they understand their medicare plans & options? (We're in annual enrollment now for Part D & Medicare Advantage)

There are so many ways you can help your parents with your time (as you are doing), including: helping them manage their household, reminding them about doctor's appointments, bills, helping them figure out what to do during annual enrollment to get the most value from medicare, helping to arrange home services. The list is long.

The time & effort & stress to do these things is significant. It requires lots of patience too.

Maybe you want to have a larger discussion with your parents about their plans for care & day-to-day living as they age. Do they intend to age in place? Or go to a retirement community? Or apartment? Aging in place sounds good, but it can be costly to bring in home helpers & home health aides, and isolating. Maybe ask your parents what their thoughts are. Likewise tell them what you can (and cannot) help them with. Open the lines of communication.

You can also engage someone from senior/social services to help understand needs and available local services. Your parents might open up more to them than to their own children.

No 2 situations are the same. Relationships differ, as do personalities, medical & financial means.

The one-size-fits-all advice given by some is rude & ignorant.
Sandwich
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Sandwich »

One has to find a method that works within one's family. Your situation may last much longer than you can currently imagine so obtaining perspectives now is a positive step. When I started to assist a relative in 2008, I could not imagine it lasting for more than a few years ... based on what my relative's internist said. In reality, the experience has not ended as other relative's health has declined and I provide support. There has not been a break.

Here's a bit from my experience .. When myself and / or spouse drives a relative to health appointments, relative hands over a few dollars for the parking as we drive out of the lot. We do not monitor time lost from work or gas cost. Spouse and I used (use) either sick leave or leave without pay, when required.

We juggle their health care appointments with our own family's work and school schedule. We have mentioned to them "Don't make a routine appointment without coordinating first ... as we can not just "drop" everything to go. Have had to "drop" everything for emergencies .. but that's life.

For household chores, young adult grandchildren doing yard maintenance are compensated for their time ... it provides them with funds for college and personal expenses while they provide relative with completing chores that they can no longer do. When spouse and I do chores, we receive relative's appreciation and sometimes a home made meal.

Elderly relatives have (and had) sufficient funds to pay for health care and all other day to day costs. We have managed their financial situations as time has passed and have simplified bill paying using auto payments from their checking accounts.

Are there other siblings near by that can provide support ? ... either timewise or financial. Lopsided support from one or other siblings can be a source of conflict if all are not on the same page or providing somewhat "equal" support.

Good luck.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Katietsu »

With additional information...
I think the parents should pay for their own medical goods. Though, you might just need to suck it up if you deem their safety at risk and they refuse.

Substantial time off, like weeks, would be very reasonable to go either way. If child wanted or needed reimbursed the conversation should be had in advance. And the option of hiring a professional caregiver instead should be discussed with no resentment if parent chooses that option instead.

Parking for appointments would be easy for parents just to pay for at the time. I would handle this similar to the durable goods, parents pay up front. Gas is tricky. Probably would only give this a second thought if it were substantial as in out of town appointments to see a specialist.
Last edited by Katietsu on Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Katietsu »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:11 pm
8foot7 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:51 pm I will add: If for some reason you feel like your parents won’t reimburse you or will hold it against you for asking, then one approach would be to let what’s already happened go but stop buying durable equipment from now on. You can always help them with the logistics of the order but when it comes time to pay, ask for their credit card or have them write out a check.
I think this is the best post in the entire thread. Yes, the parents who need the help now are willing to pay to buy something (generally) but harder to get reimbursements from. So we just let them buy what they need. They don't buy it, then they must not need it too bad.
I do think this is good advice. And I hope this works for you in the future too. It is a natural way for parents who can afford it to cover their own expenses.

Unfortunately, the sentence I put in bold is not always true. A person may refuse to spend on a lift chair and then call you for help because they have been stuck, unable to get out of their non-power recliner for 12 hours. Are you really going to leave them there? Oh, and do not think this kind of thing is unusual. Things along this line have happened in my family, my spouse’s, and my neighbors. I have had conversations with at least 4 colleagues and friends with similar stories.
Last edited by Katietsu on Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
vested1
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by vested1 »

Katietsu wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:48 pm
Kenkat wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:49 pm I can’t imagine saying, “hey you owe me 3 bucks for gas”.
-I think some of the people in this thread do not understand the kind of numbers that “incidental expenses” to help parents can add up to. Each time I took my Dad to one of his appointments at the specialist, I spent over $50 in gas plus $20 in parking, ignoring wear and tear.
-I think some of the people commenting would have the parent hire paid help rather having family provide all the needed assistance, be it transportation, lawn care or food prep. They may not realize how significant a family member’s contribution and sacrifice might be.
-I think some people might not realize that such expenses could be a real burden to an adult child even if only a couple hundred a month. Please remember that half of the country literally has no ability to handle a $400 emergency. People are out there only putting half a tank of gas in because they do not have enough money for a full tank.
-If multiple siblings with one kid handling most of the work, really unfair for them to cover most of the expenses. This is particularly important if this adult child is much less able to handle the costs than the parents or the other siblings.


For financially stable middle class and up folks, I would think it odd to bring up reimbursement for random trivial expenses. But this issue is way more complicated.
I can't imagine that anyone on this forum is in that category.

I should show this thread to my best friend who is paying for his step-father's 12k nursing home out of his own modest retirement savings, without the knowledge of his step-father. Two ends of the spectrum I guess.

As someone who has been through this recently with almost no help from other siblings I can tell you it is a complete waste of time and emotionally damaging to keep score on who is or is not doing their part. It's also unfair to bring up minor expenses with an elderly parent who has other more pressing concerns.

Count me as one of the ones who is being criticized for being harsh, but this one hit a nerve.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by miamivice »

Katietsu wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:58 pm
miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:11 pm
8foot7 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:51 pm I will add: If for some reason you feel like your parents won’t reimburse you or will hold it against you for asking, then one approach would be to let what’s already happened go but stop buying durable equipment from now on. You can always help them with the logistics of the order but when it comes time to pay, ask for their credit card or have them write out a check.
I think this is the best post in the entire thread. Yes, the parents who need the help now are willing to pay to buy something (generally) but harder to get reimbursements from. So we just let them buy what they need. They don't buy it, then they must not need it too bad.
I do think this is good advice. And I hope this works for the OP. It is a natural way for parents who can afford it to cover their own expenses.

Unfortunately, the sentence I put in bold is not always true. A person may refuse to spend on a lift chair and then call you for help because they have been stuck, unable to get out of their non-power recliner for 12 hours. Are you really going to leave them there? Oh, and do not think this kind of thing is unusual. Things along this line have happened in my family, my spouse’s, and my neighbors. I have had conversations with at least 4 colleagues and friends with similar stories.
I don't want to derail the thread, but your examples hit home and are very true. I worry a lot, especially about one set of parents who are the ones that have the most trouble accepting that their health is not perfect. Their reluctance to spend money is more a reflection of their denial of the medical needs that they have than anything else.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by sperry8 »

CurlyDave wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:40 am Both of us wish that our parents were still alive so we could pay these costs to have them around.
Beautiful sentiment. I agree
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Katietsu »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:06 pm
Katietsu wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:58 pm
miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:11 pm
8foot7 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:51 pm I will add: If for some reason you feel like your parents won’t reimburse you or will hold it against you for asking, then one approach would be to let what’s already happened go but stop buying durable equipment from now on. You can always help them with the logistics of the order but when it comes time to pay, ask for their credit card or have them write out a check.
I think this is the best post in the entire thread. Yes, the parents who need the help now are willing to pay to buy something (generally) but harder to get reimbursements from. So we just let them buy what they need. They don't buy it, then they must not need it too bad.
I do think this is good advice. And I hope this works for the OP. It is a natural way for parents who can afford it to cover their own expenses.

Unfortunately, the sentence I put in bold is not always true. A person may refuse to spend on a lift chair and then call you for help because they have been stuck, unable to get out of their non-power recliner for 12 hours. Are you really going to leave them there? Oh, and do not think this kind of thing is unusual. Things along this line have happened in my family, my spouse’s, and my neighbors. I have had conversations with at least 4 colleagues and friends with similar stories.
I don't want to derail the thread, but your examples hit home and are very true. I worry a lot, especially about one set of parents who are the ones that have the most trouble accepting that their health is not perfect. Their reluctance to spend money is more a reflection of their denial of the medical needs that they have than anything else.
In that case, I have a few tips. One is to tell them that you are just very worried and it would make you feel so much better if they had a “blank” just in case.

Another possible way to nudge things forward is to look for solutions that do not trigger thoughts of being old and weak. For instance, never had a relative willing to wear one of those medical alert pendants. In one case, I arranged for a system with an attractive watch that had a button that could be pushed to reach an operator instead of medical looking pendant. More recently, Amazon solved my problem. Gave a Christmas gift up that included enough Amazon Echoes to cover the house as well as the Amazon Connect to tie into the landline. So far it is used to ask for the temperature and play music, but it is there in case there is a fall.

In another situation, found a lift chair sold in a regular furniture stores that looked like a regular chair. Provided a brochure with location and hours of a local store. Emphasized that the seat lift part never had to be used unless needed. Then dropped the topic. About 6 months later, the chair appears.

And “find my iphone” simplifies assistance for the parent who will not admit they have trouble with the GPS. Much easier than asking them to describe the landmarks.

I hope I remember these conversations when I am on the other side of them. But, no promises. :D
Last edited by Katietsu on Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by backpacker61 »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:10 pm We need to keep our jobs to pay for our children, our mortgage, and our other regular expenses.
+1
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Fallible »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:10 pm
Colorado13 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:53 pm I suspect this is not a financial issue at all but is likely a family issue. Family issues can be very complicated. OP refernces $2 million net worth in a November 2019 post but we don't know expenses, family dynamics etc. that may be contributing to his/her inquiry.
No, I'm asking from a financial standpoint. I made it clear in the original post that both we and well as our parents can afford the expenses. It's not a question of who can afford them except for the lost wages, but what expenses they should pay related to their care versus what expenses we should pay. ...
OP, this really does appear to be more a family issue based not just on finances but on relationships and how those relationships will allow you all to resolve the financial issues. In other words, the family members first must communicate well enough to understand each others' positions, then through compromise, arrive at a workable solution. It's really the only way, but it's not an easy way. As poster Colorado13 said, "Family issues can be very complicated."
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

The gas and parking fees are in the noise, I've always ignored them and recommend you do the same. The durable medical equipment, and their tendency to not buy things you know they need but they have done without for 70+ years and don't know why they need them now is a symptom of a bigger issues.

Your biggest constraint is likely to be time rather than money. As parents age, they frequently get more self-centered and less empathetic. They might expect you to plan your time around their needs. Adults with aging parents often go to extremes to preserve the elders' illusion of independence. You will need to learn to set boundaries in ways that haven't been necessary before.

Likely they will be needing help with personal care and household needs that they didn't need help with before. If you are willing to do it all for them, they might let you. If not, they are unlikely to be willing to pay for help at fair market rates, so you will have to decide whether to pay for help or watch their homes fall down around them.

People saying you should be grateful they are still alive to need you are missing the point. It's easy to be sentimental when your parents' demand on your time is not endangering your career and your marriage. You can be glad they are still alive and still sometimes dismayed with their behavior, nothing wrong with that.

Family dynamics are different for everyone. Things will get worse, so don't sweat the small stuff and start thinking about boundaries.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Cruise »

OP: It sounds like you don't have a relationship with your parents whereby you can be forthcoming. For some reason, you feel restrained from saying: "Lets make sure your credit card or check book is with you."

When my own mother was diagnosed with a time-limiting condition, I took off one week a month and flew across the country at my own expense to spend time with her and assist her with sorting through and paying her bills. It never occurred to me to ask for reimbursement of my travel expenses or lost income. However, when paying her bills, I got her check book from the drawer--not my own.

Good luck in finding a better comfort level with your family.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Jags4186 »

- parking at the hospital parking lot to visit them while they are there (relatively inexpensive)
- time away from work without pay (FMLA or the like) (relatively expensive)
- durable medical goods not covered by Medicare
- Gas spent driving them to medical appointments, hospitals, etc
1) No
2) Don’t take off if you can’t afford it
3) They should pay
4) No

OP, your first responsibility is to your wife and children. You should not jeopardize your family’s safety and security for anyone, even your parents. That said, if your parents are “well off” you stand to inherent a significant sum and therefore will be paid back many times over once they pass away.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by jerrysmith »

Actual medical items purchased for them, I can maybe see. But the rest no. I'm with everyone else. My mom sacrificed for me/us it will be an honor to help her out (I do already)
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by 2020content »

There are many interesting perspectives on this topic. I'm sure the OP, who seemed sincere in the question, is feeling wonderful reading some of the responses. I'm very thankful the OP asked the question for one significant reason. When my spouse and I are of age or condition that we need assistance and have to rely on those who love us enough to help, I pray that we have the courtesy, consideration, and consciousness to offer reimbursement for any expenses they incur. It's the proper thing to do, really at any age. OP, thank you for the reminder.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

Jags4186 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:12 pm
- parking at the hospital parking lot to visit them while they are there (relatively inexpensive)
- time away from work without pay (FMLA or the like) (relatively expensive)
- durable medical goods not covered by Medicare
- Gas spent driving them to medical appointments, hospitals, etc
1) No
2) Don’t take off if you can’t afford it
3) They should pay
4) No

OP, your first responsibility is to your wife and children. You should not jeopardize your family’s safety and security for anyone, even your parents. That said, if your parents are “well off” you stand to inherent a significant sum and therefore will be paid back many times over once they pass away.
You would be shocked at how much end of life care can cost, especially if there are 2 parents, are making poor decisions (trying to forgo needed medical devices) and perhaps not making the best financial choices. Please don't count on an inheritance as "pay back".

Your minor children and your spouse come first.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by PumpkinPi »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:25 am - parking at the hospital parking lot to visit them while they are there (relatively inexpensive)
- time away from work without pay (FMLA or the like) (relatively expensive)
- durable medical goods not covered by Medicare
- Gas spent driving them to medical appointments, hospitals, etc

Wondering how other families have handled this. Ultimately, we would probably assume the cost of all of this if they refused, because the parents need the things above.

Please, please, please keep this non-controversial if at all possible. I'm not looking for debate, just guidance as to how others have handled this situation.
We would not ask our parents to reimburse for any of these items. Both my parents developed serious illnesses the last few years. I have been taking time off and flying to see them every year. I didn't go this year because of COVID. They live close to my sister. My sister helps them with making appointments and taking them to the doctors. She often pays their copay/drugs using her money. I try to go during their scheduled doctor's visits and pay some of their medical expenses when I am there. My sister and I split the cost of my mom's dental implants last year. My parents have a pretty comfortable and modest retirement and can afford these costs. But they appreciate that their children are taking care of them and don't have to worry about their money running out.

Both my sister and my families are doing better financially than our parents. Helping them doesn't affect us much. If you finances are tight, you can probably cover the gas/parking costs and ask them to reimburse you for the large ticket items.

Best of luck!
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Quirkz »

I wish the initial question had been asked differently, because I think it's generated a lot more heat than necessary.

Gas and parking - so insignificant it makes the question seem petty and greedy, when there's actual depth to the other components. Eye-rollingly obvious that if you're not in dire straits you pay yourself.

Medical goods - on the whole, I'd expect the person who needs it to pay, particularly if they're well off. If I picked up something really small like a $10 prescription, I might not say anything, but if I went out and bought a $200 device at their request, I'd expect to be paid back.

Unpaid work - again, this could be pretty significant. I'd shrug off a few paid sick days here and there, but if you're talking weeks or months of extended care, that's a large financial burden. If I couldn't afford to take that much time off I probably wouldn't, and instead steer parents towards paid caretakers. On the other hand if I thought they were in their last days and I just wanted to be there with them, I don't think at that point I'd be asking for reimbursement. But this one probably has the most variation due to wealth, culture, family expectations, etc.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by celia »

Sandwich wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:44 pm One has to find a method that works within one's family. Your situation may last much longer than you can currently imagine so obtaining perspectives now is a positive step. When I started to assist a relative in 2008, I could not imagine it lasting for more than a few years ... based on what my relative's internist said. In reality, the experience has not ended as other relative's health has declined and I provide support. There has not been a break.
Everyone's family is different. DH and I come from larger families and are the oldest on each side. Even before we retired, we helped those who couldn't do things for themselves and still continue to do so. We learn new things with each situation (or medical condition and care needed). We even helped an elderly neighbor for a long time until her children moved her in with them. (I would rather be the helper than the person needing help.)
We juggle their health care appointments with our own family's work and school schedule. We have mentioned to them "Don't make a routine appointment without coordinating first ... as we can not just "drop" everything to go. Have had to "drop" everything for emergencies .. but that's life.
I'm partly responsible for someone in another state who used to call her doctors EVERY DAY, inquiring about appoint scheduling although she cannot get herself there. I've had to come out and say the person taking you has to make the appointment for you [implying ...so they can work it into their own schedule]. Better yet, if I'm the driver who takes them to a particular doctor, I set the next appointment that fits into my schedule as we leave the doctor's office.
Last edited by celia on Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FIREchief
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by FIREchief »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:25 am When our parents age, we sometimes encounter out of pocket expenses for things related to their medical care that we normally wouldn't have. We are fortunate that all of our parents are well off, but they got that way from saving rather than spending, so none of them are quick to write checks out.

Wondering how other families have handled this. Ultimately, we would probably assume the cost of all of this if they refused, because the parents need the things above.
Have these parents established estate plans including medical and durable powers of attorney? If so, are either of you in a position to exercise these powers as your parents age?
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
mr_brightside
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by mr_brightside »

greenback wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:35 am
daheld wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:34 am You should bill your parents for this as soon as they bill you for little league jerseys, childhood vacations and meals to feed your childhood friends during sleepovers.

This cannot be serious.
+1
this -- I'm still waiting for my Dad to bill me for the two cars of his I wrecked when I was a teenager...

-------------------------------------------
remember Enron?? I do
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8foot7
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by 8foot7 »

Wow, some of the responses in this thread are really disappointing. I fail to see the logic that “well off” parents should have their medical supplies gifted to them at the expense of their children because, well, reasons?? and am surprised so many are jumping on OP. It’s clear some have never been in the position of caring for a parent in a substantial way (signed, spouse of daughter who worked FT while guiding mother through terminal brain cancer over three years)
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galawdawg
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by galawdawg »

I would gladly sacrifice my hard-earned wealth to still be able to talk with and spend time with my Mom, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's before she even retired. As it was, I spent many thousands on airline flights, rental cars, and other travel expenses just to be with her as often as possible, even during the last eight years of her life when she was no longer able to recognize me or communicate. Every minute I spent with her was precious and priceless.

Gas money for driving them to medical appointments? Parking fee when visiting them at the hospital??? Taking time off work????

Sorry OP, but you have got to be kidding.

But then again, considering you previously asked "Should I raid my kids college fund to buy a new computer" and posted the following financials, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
Our financial situation is as follows:

- $850,000 in retirement
- $350,000 in vacant land equity (separate of primary home)
- $450,000 in non-retirement funds
- $190,000 in 529s
- $400,000 in equity of primary home
- $18,000 in HSA
- ($117,000) HELOC loan
Perhaps you can hire an attorney who can prepare and send the appropriate bill to your parents for your gas, parking fees and time and if they don't pay, sue them for you. :annoyed

Seriously, help your parents if they need assistance navigating insurance issues with durable medical equipment. And if your parents regularly need the level of care that requires you to take so much time off work that will exhaust all paid leave, perhaps you can assist them with looking into having a home health care aide as needed.

My apologies if my reply appears unduly harsh and I intend no disrespect, but sometimes I cannot help but to be direct and honest.
delamer
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by delamer »

BarbBrooklyn wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:52 am I am probably the minority opinion here, but I was brought up with the belief that parents shouldn't cost their children money. To equate an adult child paying for end of life expenses for a parent is NOT like parents paying for soccer jerseys. Parents choose to have children.

If you lay out money for durable medical equipment, you should of course be reimbursed. Paying for parking while visiting in the hospital, gas, meals on the road? Unless you are hard up, I would just budget for that.

Time off is sticky. I did not and would not provide home care for my parents. Not what my training was in and I could ill afford to take time off as I worked for a school system and had a mortgage to pay. Spent LOTS of lunch hours on the phone with docs, dentists, facilities, etc.

Caregivers should be hired if care is needed at home. If the "management " piece is what is becoming overwhelming, the parents need to hire a Geriatric Care Manager.

If the parents are assuming that the child is going to drop everything and care for them, there needs to be an open and honest discussion of what you are and aren't willing to do. www.agingcare.com is a good website for venting/asking queations and getting support as your parents age.
Very well said.

Some elderly people become self-absorbed and don’t understand the impact that there medical issues are having on their famiy. There may be direct costs borne for medical care and indirect costs like using leave from work to be present for doctors’ appointments, etc.

Each adult child (and msybe their spouse) has to determine what s/he is able or willing to do financially, emotionally, etc. for a parent.

People have different resources available and different relationships with their parents that will color these decisions. It seems that the comments on the thread from those who are/were very close to their parents don’t take into account that others might have less intimate (or more difficult) relationships.
makingmistakes
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by makingmistakes »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:15 pm
London wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:12 pm Not sure why you’re asking a message board. If you feel comfortable asking your parents for reimbursement, go ahead. I would never do that but to each their own.
It's always nice to have a proposal and know a request is reasonable before a conversation is had.
Reimbursement of the parking fee to visit them is ridiculous. The other stuff is on a case-by-case basis depending on financial condition of both sides.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Da5id »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:15 pm
London wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:12 pm Not sure why you’re asking a message board. If you feel comfortable asking your parents for reimbursement, go ahead. I would never do that but to each their own.
It's always nice to have a proposal and know a request is reasonable before a conversation is had.
Well everyones relationships are obviously different. I'd not have dreamed of asking my parents to pay for things like gas, parking, or my PTO costs (and I took them both to the doctors fairly often, though never needed FMLA to care for them). If I paid out of pocket for medical devices or drugs I'd ask them, because those items would likely be covered by insurance. On the other hand, if it were my kids (when the time comes) I'd probably offer to pay for incidental costs as I'd not want to be a bother. They'd probably refuse, but if they didn't I'd be fine paying.

Appreciate the parents while they are around. Mine both passed away from COVID-19.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

galawdawg wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:14 pm I would gladly sacrifice my hard-earned wealth to still be able to talk with and spend time with my Mom, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's before she even retired. As it was, I spent many thousands on airline flights, rental cars, and other travel expenses just to be with her as often as possible, even during the last eight years of her life when she was no longer able to recognize me or communicate. Every minute I spent with her was precious and priceless.

Gas money for driving them to medical appointments? Parking fee when visiting them at the hospital??? Taking time off work????

Sorry OP, but you have got to be kidding.

But then again, considering you previously asked "Should I raid my kids college fund to buy a new computer" and posted the following financials, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
Our financial situation is as follows:

- $850,000 in retirement
- $350,000 in vacant land equity (separate of primary home)
- $450,000 in non-retirement funds
- $190,000 in 529s
- $400,000 in equity of primary home
- $18,000 in HSA
- ($117,000) HELOC loan
Perhaps you can hire an attorney who can prepare and send the appropriate bill to your parents for your gas, parking fees and time and if they don't pay, sue them for you. :annoyed

Seriously, help your parents if they need assistance navigating insurance issues with durable medical equipment. And if your parents regularly need the level of care that requires you to take so much time off work that will exhaust all paid leave, perhaps you can assist them with looking into having a home health care aide as needed.

My apologies if my reply appears unduly harsh and I intend no disrespect, but sometimes I cannot help but to be direct and honest.
I seem to recall that the OP was unemployed for at least a few months earlier this year. This could certainly color his outlook, especially if he has more than one child approaching college and is himself approaching retirement. If he has no pension, and lives in a HCOL area, his retirement resources do not look particularly impressive. The fact that his parents HAVE to funds to pay for their medical needs but seem to expect him to do it would be irksome to me.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Afty »

My wife and I cared for my mom through her lung cancer diagnosis until her death. Here is how we handled it:

- We invited her to come live with us to receive higher quality medical care. We did not charge her for food, rent, utilities, etc. She often volunteered to pay for meals out, groceries, etc. We accepted what she offered but did not ask for anything.
- I took FMLA leave when she was approaching the end. I did not ask her to reimburse for this. At the time, I struggled to make this decision. Looking back, it was 100% the correct decision, and I would deeply regret it if I hadn't taken the leave. Editorializing a bit: Realistically there probably is a tradeoff here between your career and your family. Consider carefully which is more important to you.
- My wife and I sometimes took her to appointments. We did not ask her to reimburse for gas or parking. Sometimes she used a volunteer service that provided transportation to cancer patients for free.
- I don't recall any durable medical goods that she needed. She paid her own medical bills.
- At one point she needed skilled nursing care. I found a nearby facility that Medicare would pay for that seemed pretty good from my tour. In reality it was pretty bad -- too few nurses who cared too little about the patients. If I had it to do over again, I would have argued for around-the-clock in-home care regardless of the cost. I would pay the cost myself if she didn't want to. She was stubborn though and I might not have won the argument.

All of this was in the context of both she and we being well off financially, and me being the only heir, so in the end it was pretty academic who paid for what.

I'll throw in one more anecdote. Toward the end, a relative came and stayed with us to help. She was less well off financially than we were. She was probably there for a month. At one point, unbeknownst to me, she asked my mom (who was on her deathbed at this point) to pay for her travel costs and time off work, which my mom did. I found that distasteful -- I felt she was taking advantage of my mom's weakened condition. If she had asked me rather than my mom, I would feel better about it. Maybe I should be less judgmental. But it soured my relationship with that relative from that point forward.
Last edited by Afty on Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mlm
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Mlm »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:25 am

- parking at the hospital parking lot to visit them while they are there (relatively inexpensive) I paid
- time away from work without pay (FMLA or the like) (relatively expensive) I paid
- durable medical goods not covered by Medicare Parent arranged and paid for
- Gas spent driving them to medical appointments, hospitals, etc I paid


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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by galawdawg »

BarbBrooklyn wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:33 pm I seem to recall that the OP was unemployed for at least a few months earlier this year. This could certainly color his outlook, especially if he has more than one child approaching college and is himself approaching retirement. If he has no pension, and lives in a HCOL area, his retirement resources do not look particularly impressive. The fact that his parents HAVE to funds to pay for their medical needs but seem to expect him to do it would be irksome to me.
I don't recall seeing anything from OP about a period of unemployment this year, but perhaps i missed it. OP is a regular poster and I have read quite a few of his previous threads. I have seen that OP posted in another thread that "I expect to have an AGI of around $180,000 this year, give or take" and was looking for ways to get a larger stimulus payment from the taxpayer than he was otherwise due. I know that he has posted before that he was considering purchasing another piece of land listed for about $400k, that he lives in Florida, that he and his wife each have a pension accruing and that retirement is about twenty or so years away when he anticipates having in the range of $5 million to $10 million saved for retirement.

I also didn't see OP say that his parents expect him to pay for their medical needs. The closest I believe he came to that was to say that "none of them are quick to write checks out." His thread didn't inquire "How do I help my parents navigate insurance benefits for DME and health care", it was "Who pays" and then inquires about gas, parking fees, time off of work and DME.

But the fact that he is asking about having his parents pay for his parking fees and gas when he visits them when they are hospitalized...there is a fine line between thrift and greed. Jack Bogle said his one regret about money was that he didn't have MORE to GIVE AWAY! And then we have this...

But, to each his own. We Bogleheads are certainly a diverse and interesting group of people with a wide variety of viewpoints! :beer
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Silverado »

galawdawg wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:07 pm
BarbBrooklyn wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:33 pm I seem to recall that the OP was unemployed for at least a few months earlier this year. This could certainly color his outlook, especially if he has more than one child approaching college and is himself approaching retirement. If he has no pension, and lives in a HCOL area, his retirement resources do not look particularly impressive. The fact that his parents HAVE to funds to pay for their medical needs but seem to expect him to do it would be irksome to me.
I don't recall seeing anything from OP about a period of unemployment this year, but perhaps i missed it. OP is a regular poster and I have read quite a few of his previous threads. I have seen that OP posted in another thread that "I expect to have an AGI of around $180,000 this year, give or take" and was looking for ways to get a larger stimulus payment from the taxpayer than he was otherwise due. I know that he has posted before that he was considering purchasing another piece of land listed for about $400k, that he lives in Florida, that he and his wife each have a pension accruing and that retirement is about twenty or so years away when he anticipates having in the range of $5 million to $10 million saved for retirement.

I also didn't see OP say that his parents expect him to pay for their medical needs. The closest I believe he came to that was to say that "none of them are quick to write checks out." His thread didn't inquire "How do I help my parents navigate insurance benefits for DME and health care", it was "Who pays" and then inquires about gas, parking fees, time off of work and DME.

But the fact that he is asking about having his parents pay for his parking fees and gas when he visits them when they are hospitalized...there is a fine line between thrift and greed. Jack Bogle said his one regret about money was that he didn't have MORE to GIVE AWAY! And then we have this...

But, to each his own. We Bogleheads are certainly a diverse and interesting group of people with a wide variety of viewpoints! :beer
We get it, you judge OP harshly. Enough with the rudeness.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by AerialWombat »

I bought my current home with the expectation that my mother will some day have to live with me. I expect to some day have to do the things OP mentions. She and her husband have substantial resources (by my standards), but not enough to never be exhausted in an end of life care scenario.

Maybe I was just raised wrong. 8-)
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by AerialWombat »

Afty wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:34 pm I would have argued for around-the-clock in-home care regardless of the cost. I would pay the cost myself if she didn't want to.
Do you happen to know how the cost of this compares to nursing home care?
For entertainment purposes only.
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FIREchief
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by FIREchief »

This thread is a good reminder of why I want everybody other than my own adult kids to think we are broke and about to lose the house.....

(we actually sold the house two years ago and moved into an apartment, that probably helps the cause :P )
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

AerialWombat wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:26 pm I bought my current home with the expectation that my mother will some day have to live with me. I expect to some day have to do the things OP mentions. She and her husband have substantial resources (by my standards), but not enough to never be exhausted in an end of life care scenario.

Maybe I was just raised wrong. 8-)
So, AW, it is interesting that you bring that up. One of my bothers (who has substantial resources) bought his home with the eye that mom would move in with him and his wife (mom's favorite out ALL of us). But...mom had a stroke and developed vascular dementia. It became very clear VERY quickly that between her delusions, paranoia, never ending anxiety AND her heart issues that no amount of home care was going to be an adequate care plan.

All of us loved mom, but she had the resources to pay for her NH care. It would have made NO sense for us to pay it. It was deductible as a medical expense for her.

Money is not love. Depleting our resources and our ability to fund our own retirements woukd not have made any financial sense.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by 1210sda »

galawdawg wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:14 pm As it was, I spent many thousands on airline flights, rental cars, and other travel expenses just to be with her as often as possible, even during the last eight years of her life when she was no longer able to recognize me or communicate. Every minute I spent with her was precious and priceless.
You brought back a lot of memories. My Mom passed away 22 years ago after being in a nursing home for 3 1/2 years. I lived 1,300 miles away. I did as you did. Spent quite a bit on air travel, etc. to go see her. I do not regret the expense. I regret that she was not with us longer.

Thanks.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by theplayer11 »

I haven't read any responses, but frankly I'm floored. You actually think your parents should reimburse you for hospital parking fees and gas? Maybe your parents should total up all the expenses they laid out raising you..then they can deduct your hospital parking fees you paid visiting them while they were ill. How does that sound?
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by Afty »

AerialWombat wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:34 pm
Afty wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:34 pm I would have argued for around-the-clock in-home care regardless of the cost. I would pay the cost myself if she didn't want to.
Do you happen to know how the cost of this compares to nursing home care?
I don't recall, only that it was very expensive. I'm probably suffering from some hindsight bias here -- she was only in this type of care for a few weeks before she went further downhill and required hospitalization.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by JoeRetire »

miamivice wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:25 amThe types of expenses we have are for things like:

- parking at the hospital parking lot to visit them while they are there (relatively inexpensive)
- time away from work without pay (FMLA or the like) (relatively expensive)
- durable medical goods not covered by Medicare
- Gas spent driving them to medical appointments, hospitals, etc

Wondering how other families have handled this.
In my family, after my mother passed away, I always took my dad to all of his appointments. I paid for parking, gas, and whatever else he needed. I and my siblings took turns staying with him as he started to fail. We bought his food, made his meals, cleaned his home, cleaned his clothes, watched television with him. We did this until he too passed away from cancer. I and my siblings did the same for my mom, but to a lesser extent since my dad was around at the time.

I was happy to do whatever I could. I loved my parents and I miss them. I wish they were still around so I could incur more of these expenses. It would never have occurred to me to be worried about these expenses, nor to ask anyone for advice about them.

Perhaps it's different for you.
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Re: Aging parents - who pays for expenses related to medical care

Post by JBTX »

daheld wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:34 am You should bill your parents for this as soon as they bill you for little league jerseys, childhood vacations and meals to feed your childhood friends during sleepovers.

This cannot be serious.
Yeah I got sucked in thinking this was going to be thought provoking but as soon as I saw parking at the hospital my face hit my palm.
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