Women and Money

Sheila's Story about Parenting Her Mother

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that at the age of 35
I’d be juggling a fast-paced career, a busy household, a toddler, and my aging mom.


My dream was to have an active mom who could help with childcare
and simplify my life a bit. My husband, my sister, and I weren’t prepared for the challenges we’d face as a result of my mother’s early-stage dementia.


When it became clear that my mother needed a great deal of support to manage her day-to-day activities and her financial planning, we realized how unprepared we were to handle these matters.


It quickly became clear that my mother needed nursing home care. The emotional guilt of this realization was and continues to be overwhelming for us. Also, the financial implications of this type of care are distressing.


So the search began for missing paperwork and financial documentation. And we started having the dreaded awkward conversations about my mother’s wishes. My sister and I found ourselves ill prepared to parent our mother.


The sad fact is that when we learned what my mom really wanted most—to stay in her home as long as possible—we knew that neither she nor we could afford to make it possible. And while Medicaid and Medicare help, it just isn’t enough.


Growing up, neither long-term care nor long-term care insurance was a topic at our dinner table. But now that I am faced with my mother’s long-term care, they have become an important part of my own financial planning.

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