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What to do When an Elderly Parent Runs Out of Money

For almost anyone with aging parents, it’s natural to have concerns over their financial future. And it can be stressful to figure out how to handle these kinds of situations, especially if you have to determine what to do when an elderly parent runs out of money. But taking initiative can help everyone to avoid worst-case scenarios, and ensure your loved ones are well cared for in the future.

What to do With Aging Parents Who Have No Money

Figuring out what to do when an elderly parent runs out of money can be tough. But a good starting point is being aware of all your options. To get started, it’s a good idea to research government programs that might be able to help. The most basic place to begin is with Medicare and Medicaid. That’s because the former covers many medical costs for people over 65, while the latter provides coverage for people with low income.

But those are only the beginning. You can also find a wealth of both state and county programs aimed specifically at assisting the elderly, including everything from housing assistance to supplemental income. Another good place to check is your regional Area Agency on Aging, where you might find assistance can come in the form of home care, food delivery, check-ins, transportation, or another essential service.

Keep in mind, it’s worth investigating these programs before making contributions directly to your parents, to ensure any financial assistance you can provide won’t interfere with their eligibility for need-based programs.

Aging Parents with No Money – Good Options

My elderly parents are broke -- what can I do about it? If you’ve found yourself asking those kinds of questions, and you’ve examined state and federal programs, then the family is the next line of defense. Because in most cases, the best way how to deal with aging parents with no money is also the most common – direct family assistance.

Try and initiate a conversation, both with your parents and with other family members. Combining resources and sharing the load of helping provide care can be essential to making these kinds of situations work long-term.

Though this option is not ideal for everyone, another common choice is returning to work. One study by Prudential found those over the age of 55 are the most successful gig workers, one-third of which include retirees. For those with the right skills, the gig economy and the internet can be lucrative opportunities.

What Happens to Elderly Adults Who Have No Money

Exactly what happens to elderly adults with no money? In most states, Medicaid will pay for a nursing home for up to 100 days. But the grim reality is that elderly folks who run out of funding in an assisted living facility will get evicted. That’s a common experience and a potentially traumatic one. It’s also one of the reasons there are so many family caregivers in the US.

If an elderly person has no money and no family to assist them, and they encounter a health emergency that prevents them from living alone, they may become a ward of the state. A guardian will be assigned to help make decisions about their living situation. But broadly speaking, this type of care is far from ideal and should be looked at like the last resort.

Caring for Aging Parents with No Money

There’s rarely a silver bullet to handle financial issues, especially if they occur with little to no warning. That’s why it’s a good idea to start a dialogue over these kinds of concerns with loved ones sooner rather than later, so everyone has some time to plan. But with some preparation and the right support, elderly folks who fall on hard times may still enjoy a respectable standard of living.