Caring for Aging Parents? Don’t Let Sibling Rivalry Get in the Way!
As kids, we were taught to share our toys and also our parents’ attention. Not surprisingly, the feelings associated with those memories can carry with us well into our adult years. As wonderful as it is to have brothers and sisters, there are also times when it leads to increased stress levels, such as when caring for aging parents. While loving each other and considering your siblings’ feelings were impressed upon us at an early age, a lingering sense of sibling rivalry can remain an obstacle when making tough decisions and making an effort to fairly share caregiving needs for our aging parents.
Gregory French, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, explains, “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 suggestions, courtesy of the elder care Santa Rosa CA team at Hired Hands Homecare, can help family members find common ground and determine the most reasonable division of care for their elderly loved ones:
- Utilize a mediator. Meeting together with a neutral third party professional, like an attorney, financial planner or in-home care provider such as Hired Hands Homecare, can go a long way in ensuring the discussion stays on track and moves towards the best outcome.
- Consider both caregiving tasks and financial support. Splitting up caregiving duties fairly should incorporate a discussion about how much time each person can commit to providing home care assistance, along with how much financial support can be provided. For example, a brother who lives near the parent may be able to help more with in-person care but chip in less financial support, while another sibling who lives farther away may offer more financial support but less in-person assistance.
- Document the conversation. Be sure everything you discuss is documented so that everyone is always on the same page. This also provides the opportunity to go back and revisit what was decided later if a conflict should arise.
Most importantly, keep in mind when caring for aging parents the need to agree to put aside old childhood dynamics and work together to provide the highest quality of care possible for your senior loved one.
Hired Hands Homecare, top providers of the elder care Santa Rosa CA families trust, is available to partner with you in your journey in caring for aging parents. Our professional care team can provide you with the resources you need to ensure you make the best care decisions for your loved ones, as well as reliable in-home respite care services to help you get the rest you need. Our caregivers are on hand for as much or as little care assistance as needed. Contact us at (866) 940-4343 to learn more.