As children, we mastered the ability to share toys as well as the attention of our parents, and these feelings tend to carry with us well into adulthood. As wonderful as it is to have brothers and sisters, there can also be times it can result in elevated stress levels, such as when caring for aging parents. Although loving each other and considering your siblings’ feelings was ingrained in you at an early age, sibling rivalry could continue to be a hurdle when making challenging decisions and sharing the responsibilities that accompany caring for aging parents.
Gregory French, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, states that, “What a family member considers ‘fair’ is very much dictated from that family member’s perspective…there’s a lot of family baggage that comes out, like: ‘Mom paid for your MBA, and she didn’t do that for me.’”
These tips, courtesy of the in-home care professionals at All Care, can help family members make sure they’re on the same page and find the most reasonable division of care for their loved one:
- Consult with a mediator. Meeting together with a trusted, third-party specialist, such as a lawyer, financial planner or in-home care provider like All Care, can help in keeping the discussion on track and moving towards the best solution.
- Consider the balance of hands-on caregiving vs. financial support. Splitting up caregiving duties fairly should include a conversation about how much time each sibling can dedicate to providing hands-on assistance, along with how much financial assistance can be provided. For instance, a sibling who lives close to the parent may be positioned to offer more in-person care but less financial assistance, while another sibling who lives across the country may offer more financial support and less hands-on care.
- Record the conversation. Maintaining records of topics of discussion and agreements ensures that everyone is on the same page, and provides the chance to review what was agreed upon at a later time if a disagreement should develop.
The most important thing to keep in mind when siblings work together to meet the care needs of aging parents is to agree to put aside childhood dynamics in an attempt to come together to provide the best care possible.
Our Ashland home care team at All Care is available locally and in surrounding areas and is ready to partner with you as you care for aging parents. Our expert staff can provide you with the senior care resources you need to help you make the best care decisions for your loved ones, as well as in-home respite care services to help you get the rest you need. Our caregivers will make sure your family always has access to the very best care. Contact us at (541) 857-9195 to learn more.