For T.J. Mancuso, 40, of Apex, N.C., the health of his parents took center stage five years ago when a medical condition left his father unable to qualify for long-term care insurance.

Seeing his mother deal with the challenges of being a full-time caregiver, Mancuso decided that it was time for the family to come up with a better plan.

“Knowing that we couldn’t do anything for my dad, I was like, ‘let’s do something for mom,’ ” Mancuso says. So he and his wife Erica purchased a long-term care policy for his mother. “I’d rather spend money on a monthly premium today,” Mancuso says. “Maybe she’ll never need it, but I know what I’m spending monthly today is probably what a day or two of help would be down the road.”

Like the Mancusos, many Americans are grappling with the financial realities of caring for an elderly parent. In 2017, the national median cost of a semiprivate room in a nursing home was $7,148 per month and assisted living facilities averaged $3,750, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey. With costs so prohibitive, many families feel they have no other option but to take care of mom and dad at home. Ideally, families will figure out how to cover the costs of aging long before the money is needed.


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