Written by: Isaac Ericksen | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: October 31st, 2019
According to the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, 70% of those over the age of 65 will require some type of long-term care support or services during the remainder of their lives. And while the thought of not securing some kind of long-term support isn't as dramatic as sending your parents to the edge of a cliff, the idea of them having an emergency can be equally frightening.
If you are considering how best to help ease your parents' transition into retirement, you may be asking yourself several questions:
- What options do I have?
- How much will I have to spend?
- What will keep them safe without restricting their freedom?
- Is it possible for them to have fun without me?
In answer to your questions, we've provided a few ways in which you can really help your parents enjoy their golden years (and the answer to the last question is a resounding YES!):
1- "Ship" Them off to a Foreign Country
Pros: Many seniors have found this to be a great option to live their retirement. Not living in another country, but going on cruises. They get excellent customer care on almost all cruises. They can even get occasional great discounts. One lady used to wait until the day of departure to get huge discounts or even cruise free. She had no time commitments so no planning necessary and she didn't care where she went.
Cons: Though a highly effective option for having a great time and often superb customer care, it is not always affordable or plausible for the average person to send their parents out on a cruise every couple of weeks.
2- Be The Family Caregiver
Pros: We all love our parents or grandparents so much that we want to be there for them even if that means moving in or having them live with us. This is a great option for those wishing to stay physically close to their parents, or who are less trusting of assisted living facilities. It is definitely a sacrifice, but it can also be a cheaper alternative to most options.The Cost of Care Survey done by Genworth says that 46% of family caregivers spent over $5k/year in caregiving costs.
Cons: While this is more cost efficient than other options it can be very time binding. Depending on the individual, some need more care than others. Here are a few other statistics from the report:
- 33% spent more than 30 hours per week on caregiving
- 66% experienced care-related distractions such as phone calls and emails while working
- 60% said caregiving duties had a negative effect on their jobs
3- Assisted Living
Pros: Assisted living can be a great option. According to JoAnn Porter, speaking of a luxury retirement home, "it is like a cruise ship that isn't moving."
Cons: While this statement may be true for some, most assisted living centers are not as fancy, and if they are it will cost you an arm and a leg, so to speak. Plus, no one can ever replace home.
Reports have shown, however, that assisted living is getting more and more expensive to place our seniors (click below for full view):
4- Medical Alert Systems
Pros: We all love home and like to feel secure while being independent. The best part about this is they can live at home and you don't always have to be there. Not everyone knows what is all entailed with a medical alert system.
When consumers think about using a medical alert system they typically know that they are getting a better price, but there are two big hesitations:
- Do they really need it?
- Is it enough care?
The two questions address both sides of the pendulum of taking care of our seniors. They require an honest assessment about the level of independence of the loved one. Some seniors really do need the care of assisted living facility, that is no question, while others enjoy living on their own, but are looking for added safety measure. Independent seniors may find that a medical alert system is enough support that they feel a level of safety and protection, while also being allowed to live in the comfort of their own home.
For more information about choosing medical alert systems, visit our 7 Reasons Why post on our Medical Alert news page, and read what we've learned about some of the top medical alert systems in the industry.
Cons: One of the major disadvantages to purchasing a medical alert system is the amount of research required prior to purchase. These days, there are dozens of companies offering medical alert systems, each with varying system features, pricing options, reputations, and availability. To some, a medical alert system is not the simple choice given it is a rapidly growing industry.
Recommended Medical Alert Systems
bestcompany.com has conveniently broken down 60+ medical alert companies providing beneficial information to help consumers make the best choice for having a Medical Alert System.
As we've shown here, every option has its share of pros and cons. It is important to consider your parents' needs, your budget, and the balance between security and freedom you feel is most fitting for their situation. If you decide a medical alert system is best, we are happy to help you make an informed decision among the many options available. Check out our reviews, or comment below if you have questions! We promise not to leave you hanging on a cliff!