Circumstances Where Parents Become Dependents

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Monday July 12th, 2021.

Are you caring for your parent? Many adults in midlife are sandwiched between caring for teenagers and aging parents as well. Although no one wants to think there will ever be a time they will need to care for a parent, it happens far too often. If you are concerned about caring for one or both of your parents, here is some information you need to know about caring for aging parents. 

Aging Parent Dependents

There are several circumstances that would make an aging parent become a dependent. First, your parent may begin to rely on you for their income, because they do not have enough money saved up, or they have spent all the money they had saved for retirement. If you are contributing more than half of your parent’s income, you can claim them as a dependent. 

You may also be able to claim your parent as a dependent if they are no longer capable of making decisions themselves. For example, you may be named a guardian for your parent if they are diagnosed with a progressive neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia. Some diseases will render your parent unable to care for themselves, and you’ll need to step in. Your parent may also be mentally ill with a disease or disorder, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. 

There are other events that may make your parents dependent on you. If your parents is suffering from the effects of a physical problem or injury, they may need your help. For example, your parent may have had an automobile accident, or they may have suffered a stroke. The lingering effects may mean you have to care for them. If you are concerned about your parents ability to care for themselves, there are some things you can do. First, if your concern for them is new, you may want to take them to the doctor to allow a medical professional to determine whether they are declining. Second, make a note of your parents ability to care for their daily needs. It may be that all they need is a little help during the day, such as a reminder to take medicine. You can hire people to check in on your parents. Still concerned about your aging parents? You may need to consult with their doctor and your attorney to make sure you and your parents are living the best life possible. 

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