January 16, 2018

Sibling Rivalry Over Aging ParentsRemember how challenging it could be when you were a child to learn the lesson of sharing with your siblings? While the importance of considering other people’s feelings, as well as being fair, was impressed upon us at an early age, it can nevertheless be a hurdle to lessen sibling rivalry about challenging decisions we struggle with in adulthood – such as just how to fairly divide caregiving requirements for our aging parents.

Gregory French, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, points out, “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 guidelines can help individuals and their families achieve an understanding on the most reasonable division of care for a senior loved one:

  • Enlist assistance from a mediator. Sitting down with a reputable third party professional, like an attorney, financial planner or professional elder care manager, with an area of expertise in senior issues, can go a long way towards keeping the discussion on track and moving forward to the very best resolution.
  • Take into consideration hands-on caregiving help vs. expenses. Dividing up caregiving duties reasonably should incorporate a discussion on how much time each sibling can dedicate to supplying care in the home, as well as how much financial care can be supplied. For example, a brother or sister dwelling in close proximity to the individual may provide more time but lower financial support as compared to somebody who resides in another state.
  • Document the conversation. Getting everything documented ensures that everyone is on the same page, and allows for the possibility to go back and evaluate what was agreed upon later if a dispute should develop.

First and foremost, agree to set aside any residual childhood dynamics in an effort to come together to give the highest quality of care possible.

Continuum’s home care assistance in St. Louis helps families keep a healthy life balance with the professional in-home care services for older persons that provide families with a secure feeling in realizing their aging loved one is in the best of hands. Partnering with Continuum also means that individuals and their families can spend much more quality time together, while our fully trained and knowledgeable caregivers help with a number of the more routine elements of care, such as housekeeping, doing the laundry, preparing food, running errands including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions, and much more. Call us at (314) 863-9912 for details.