Posts Tagged "adult children"

Tax Breaks for You and Your Caregivers

Posted by on Apr 3, 2021 in Financial and Tax Matters |

With many Canadians caring for aging parents or receiving care ourselves, it’s good to know that there may be federal and provincial tax breaks available to us: Below are excerpts from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website,, detailing three of the available federal benefits. Click on the links below for more information, and note that these benefits apply not just to the elderly, but to any qualified care recipients over the age of 18, such as adult children. Caregiver Tax Credit You may be eligible for this tax credit if you meet ALL of the following conditions: • You maintained a dwelling where you and a dependant lived at any time during the calendar year. • Your dependant is: * your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child or grandchild; or *your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s brother, sister, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, parent, or grandparent who was resident in Canada. • This person was not only visiting you. • Your dependant meets all of the following conditions: * 18 years of age or older at the time he or she lived with you; * Net income in 2011 (line 236 of his or her return, or the amount that it would be if he or she filed a return) of less than $18,906; and * Dependent on you due to an impairment in physical or mental functions or, if he or she is your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent, born in 1946 or earlier. • You did not have to make child support payments for this dependant. • No one other than you claims an amount for an eligible dependant (line 305) for that dependant. Disability tax credit As per the Canada Revenue Agency website, claimants for the disability tax credit (DTC), must meet the three following conditions: • The claimant must have an impairment that is prolonged, which means it has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. • The claimant’s impairment in physical or mental functions must be severe and it must restrict him or her all or substantially all of the time. • The claimant’s severe and prolonged impairment must be certified using Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, by a qualified practitioner. If your dependant is able to claim the disability amount, and does not need to claim all or part of that amount on their tax return, they may be able to transfer all or part of this amount to you. Click here for a list of “impairments” that qualify for the Disability Tax Credit: Finally, if you pay for someone’s nursing home fees, you may be able to claim them under “medical expenses for other eligible dependents –line 331”. Provincial Tax Credits It’s worthwhile to check whether your provincial government offers caregiver tax relief as well. You can start by searching online for “caregiver tax credit” together with the name of your province. Need assistance with your CRA returns? Consult a tax professional or click on the link to our previous article to learn more about help available for older persons with preparing tax returns....

Read More

Parents Who Won’t Accept Help

Posted by on Feb 7, 2021 in Caregiving, Family Relationships, Sensitive Conversations |

Originally published at on September 3, 2010. Seniors resist help at home Susan Pigg, Living Reporter More than half of seniors resist asking for help, even from their adult children, fearing it signals a neediness that could land them in a nursing home, a new study shows. That fierce resistance is playing out in so many family squabbles — from the silent treatment to bitter turf wars between aging parents and their grown kids — that the home-care agency Home Instead Senior Care has just launched a series of online self-help videos, one of them focusing on communication. “This is a big problem for family caregivers,” says Bruce Mahony, owner of Home Instead’s Toronto office. “If seniors admit they need help, they think their independence is in question. They worry about losing control of their affairs.” Fifty-one per cent of 24,147 adult caregivers surveyed across Canada and the U.S. by Home Instead Senior Care from 2004 to 2009 say their aging relatives can be so reluctant to accept help, they fear for their safety. Some worry their elderly parents are forgetting to eat meals or take medications in a misguided bid to maintain their independence. Others are managing to hobble along with considerable help from elderly partners who are getting sick struggling to keep up appearances that all is well, elder-care experts say. But a big part of the problem is baby boomer children who feel the overwhelming need to parent their parents, says Mara Osis, co-founder of Calgary-based ElderWise Inc. which offers “family coaching” and advice via the book Your Aging Parents: How to Prepare, How to Cope. “We stress that you are not your parents’ parent. You need to see each other as two adults of different generations trying to work out a problem,” says Osis. The struggles can be even more complicated if the parent is suffering from early dementia and feels confused and threatened by any changes or in-home help from strangers. “Boomers are used to being very much in control of everything in their lives and being able to effect change, so when they see that they are getting push back from their parents, it’s an unfamiliar role. “Sometimes the adult child creates their own problems by saying, ‘I’m just going to fix mom and dad and their situation because the solution is very simple from my point of view.’ ” Read the complete article   ...

Read More

Home alone - not anymore. Your adult child is back.

Posted by on Mar 28, 2021 in Family Relationships, Financial and Tax Matters |

Originally published at Used with permission. Call ‘em Boomerang Kids or KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement  Savings) – but by any name, the number of adult children living with their parents is on the rise. And for Boomers, that can be a double whammy because many are being sandwiched between caring for their adult children and for their aging parents. A recent survey* of Boomers revealed that four-in-ten who care for both children and parents say they have been forced to reduce the amount they’re investing for retirement, one-quarter say they have adopted a less comfortable lifestyle, and one-quarter expressed concern that this financial assistance will jeopardize their retirement security. There’s no doubt that having adult children at home creates financial challenges by increasing the cost of living, creating a drag on savings, and even causing a loss of freedom. Here are some practical ideas about how to reduce stress, hard feelings and avoid potential financial disaster: • Pay to stay: Treat your child as an adult and try to replicate ‘real world’ conditions by having them contribute to household expenses, chores, and even pay rent. If they aren’t employed, encourage them to actively seek work. • Invest in a secure future: As an alternative to paying rent, insist that your adult child establishes an investment plan to help pay a future down payment on their own home. • Tax relief: If your stay-at-home adult kid is also a student and has no tax to pay, you can relieve some of the pinch on your finances by taking advantage of unused federal tuition and education credits (combined). Up to $750 can be transferred from the student to a parent. (Provincial tax credits may also be available.) • Define ‘rent’: Is your child paying you fair market value rent or just enough to cover their share of home upkeep and the cost of groceries? If it’s the latter, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says you don’t need to report that income on your tax return but you cannot deduct expenses. If you attempt to claim a rental loss, the CRA will put you to the test of proving the rental rate is at fair market value, and there is a reasonable expectation of profit. With children taking longer to become self-sufficient and aging parents expected to live longer, Boomers could be in for a rough ride. The first step is to talk openly with your children about money and responsibility. And a good second step is to discuss your situation with your professional advisor to make sure your financial plans stay on track. *Boomers on Call Survey, 2009 – Harris/Decima for Investors Group.  Guest article provided by Investors Group Financial Services. © Investors Group. Reprinted with permission. This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. DISCLAIMER: ElderWise is pleased to feature the work of guest authors and appreciate their insight and expertise. Any opinions or advice expressed by these guest authors are their own, and may not necessarily reflect the views of ElderWise.  ElderWise does not assume responsibility for any decision or action taken as a result of information presented. Please seek professional advice and perform adequate due diligence before taking action....

Read More

The “Not-So-Empty” Nest

Posted by on Feb 24, 2021 in Family Relationships |

 Today, adult children are living with their boomer parents longer than previous generations did.  There are also “boomerang kids”, who return to the family home after some time on their own.  Why is this happening? How do you learn to manage with a household full of adults?   First, some statistics: In 1981, only 28% of Canadians aged 20 to 29 were living in the family home. By 2001, that figure was up to 41%. In the 1970’s, the median age at first marriage was 21 years for women and 23 for men. Now, it’s 26 for women and 28 for men. For many young adults, living with parents at home is not their ideal life plan. Often, it’s a result of  financial necessity. With increases in the cost of living and post-secondary education, some young Canadians cannot afford to live on their own.  For others, the loss of a relationship, pregnancy, or change in career may result in staying in or return to the parental home.   It’s not all bad news, though. The majority of kids appreciate their parents’ help. Parents with adult children at home report more satisfaction with time spent together than parents who don’t live with their adult kids. However, these parents can feel more frustration and experience less personal time and space than those living on their own.  Money disagreements can increase for married couples with adult children living at home. Boomers nearing retirement may need to work longer to support the family if adult children are back at home. And those who are also caring for aging parents know first-hand the meaning of “sandwich generation” Adult families who live together successfully report three factors that help keep conflict to a minimum: 1. Firm rules about shared use of cars, electronics, living spaces and privacy in general. 2. Where possible, adult children pay rent. If not, they are responsible for some household duties or other contributions to the family. 3. Timelines are discussed. If schooling is part of the picture, there is a plan to finish and move out.  Others may also discuss where stay-at-home kids will be in six months or a year. Sometimes adult children can ease the sandwich generation squeeze by helping aging grandparents - driving them to appointments, helping with errands and household maintenance, or even just doing a regular check-in.   Although this trend marks a shift in family dynamics, it need not be a change for the worse, or signal that parents will be fighting over curfew with a 27-year-old.  But taking out the garbage could be another matter.   Sources: Parents with adult children living at home: Canadian Social Trends Spring 2006, The Stats Can Daily from March 21, 2021   Vol.2, No.24; © ElderWise Inc. 2006   You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO articles, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc., Canada’s “go to” place for midlife and older adults seeking information and support on health, housing and relationships.  Visit us at and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.  ...

Read More

Aging Parents and Adult Children Living Together? Talk Before You Pack

Posted by on Feb 24, 2021 in Housing Options, Living Arrangements |

Are you considering moving in with your adult children? Are you thinking about having your aging parent(s) move into your home? Whatever your reason, you can expect that some intergenerational households will work well, but others are filled with tension. Moving in together can work, but success is greater when everyone pays attention is paid to each others’ autonomy and where certain things are negotiated beforehand:   Respect Autonomy Seniors have been making their own decisions for a long time. Asking them to give up this independence can create feelings of tension and disrespect – even when the adult child is trying, out of love, to help the parent stay safe and healthy. To the senior, it can feel like the adult child is dictating to them how to live their lives.   Negotiate Important Matters If you are considering living together, ask these questions of yourself and discuss them with each other.  Why do you want to live together? Is this the best choice for all concerned?  Have you evaluated other options: home care, assisted living or a personal care home?  Do family relationships allow you to communicate openly and discuss mutual concerns?  Have you enjoyed extended periods of time together before? Can you have a “trial” period?  Where grandchildren are present, who will be responsible for discipline?   How will you provide privacy for each generation?  How will household chores be divided?  What are the financial issues involved?  How long might this living arrangement last?  What will you do if the arrangement is not working?  Are the parent’s health concerns escalating? Will more care be required?  Do adult children have career commitments, health problems or other issues that may affect their ability to cope?  How will the adult child have respite and holidays?  Who else will help?   Whatever reasons may prompt you to decide to share a home, your family can enjoy the mutual respect, support and contributions of each generation. But please: Talk before you pack!   Vol.2, No.10; © ElderWise Inc. 2006 You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO articles, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc. We provide clear, concise and practical directions for Canadians with aging parents. Visit us at and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.  ...

Read More