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Taking care of father

Eldercare courtesy Evelyn Grace LTDHappy Father's Day!

For all you who still have your dad around, be sure to give him a call today. If you dad is anything like mine was, it will be a short call, but I promise you, he will appreciate it.

Some of you live close enough to your families to make a visit today, or any other time, possible.

And still others are actually sharing a home with Dad … or Mom.

You might be thinking of the boomerang kid trend, where young adults move back home, usually right after college, to save some money before completely leaving the nest.

But more and more, the move is the other way, as the data below from the U.S. Census Bureau show:

Family members moving in with relatives



Percentage increase

Parents in adult child’s home

2.2 million

3.6 million


Other relatives (e.g., adult child, siblings) in household

4.8 million

6.8 million


Grandchildren in household

5.3 million

5.8 million


Much of the time, parents move in with their grown kids because everyone wants to avoid the nursing home option. But in today's economy, turning the guest room into a permanent place for the parents often is more cost effective.

Some tax help: When the time comes that your folks do need some help from you, Uncle Sam might be able to offer some assistance, too.

if you provide for the bulk of living expenses for your father (or mother, for that matter), be sure you claim him, her or both of them as dependents on your tax return.

If your parent does qualify as your dependent, you also can count medical costs you pay for mom or dad toward the  medical expenses itemized deduction. Since medical costs must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income before you can claim them, a parent's added expenses could help you clear this deduction hurdle.

And if you do need to hire someone to look after your parent so you can go to work, don't forget to check out the Child and Dependent Care tax credit. It could help defray a few of those costs.

Additional older parent resources: These online resources offer tips and advice for adult children caring for aging parents:

  • Medline Plus -- The federal government’s compilation of links to services for older individuals and their caregivers.
  • Eldercare Locator -- This public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging can put caregivers in touch with local senior services.
  • Family Caregiving 1010 -- The National Family Caregivers Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving teamed up to help new caregivers learn the ins and outs of their roles.
  • Nursing Home Compare -- This federal government page has detailed information on most every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country.
  • Assisted Living Costs -- This comparison by offers a look at the price variations of assisted living facilities across the United States.

Here's hoping that your Dad (and Mom) get to live long, happy and independent lives. But when all of you decide, as a family, that it's time to share a home again, be sure to check into potential tax breaks that might provide.

Updated links Oct. 22, 2020

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