Things to Think About – Siblings Caring For Elderly Parent
As your parent ages, it is important to keep in mind these ‘Hot-Button’ issues related to caring for elderly parents. We all know that aging is stressful for your loved one, and watching them age is also stressful at times. Here are some of the ‘Hot-Button’ issues related to siblings caring for their elderly parents.
1. Illness: Some questions that will pop up are: “Who will provide care?”, “Will one sibling?”, "What extra care do they now need?" Siblings have different opinions on how to care for your loved one. Illnesses also increase the need for change among the care given to their parent. This means everyone in the situation will have to be more flexible.
2. Finances: Money matters when dealing with your aging parents. Siblings can be forced into making tough decisions when deciding for a loved one. Another financial issue that could occur is when a sibling who is personally financially challenged decides to move in with the parent to ‘help’. In some of these cases, this individual may not be equipped or prepared for the responsibilities they are about to handle.
3. Inheritance: Although there are many families who worry more about finances to help fund care for their loved ones, others focus more on inheritance and how the financial piece of the puzzle factors into their inheritance. It is vital to recognize that this is a fundamental topic that could end up in a family feud. Also, when a sibling feels like their portion of the inheritance is unequally distributed, it is important to have a direct conversation with all siblings about the concerns. Having this perception may interfere with parent-focused problems, which is why it is important to clearly communicate with all siblings.
4. Distance: When a sibling lives close to their aging parent, they are expected to do the bulk of the caregiving work. Long-distance caregivers could eventually feel left out. With that, some siblings assume that other siblings have more time to care for a parent, which leads one of the siblings to be chosen as the main caregiver.
5. Stress: Family caregiving and planning among siblings can be very stressful, especially if there is a triggering event in one of their lives (a new job, a new baby, a new house, etc…).
When caring for an elderly parent and making hard decisions on how they should be cared for, it is important to remember some of the focused goals of your aging mom or dad.
Goal 1 – Keep parents Safe.
Goal 2 – Come together as a team and build off of everyone’s strengths to find solutions.
Goal 3 – Alleviate stress. (by going on walks, meditating, taking a bath, and/or communicating clearly to all siblings about your concerns)
There are some ways to alleviate miscommunication and stress among family members. One main way is to hold family meetings at least once a month. These meetings can help everyone be on the same page of priorities, duties, knowledge of pertinent information, and is a time to be heard from everyone.
If you or your siblings need time to yourself to relax for a temporary amount of time, find more information about our respite care services online at https://www.ctkmanor.org/respite-care
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Author: Dominique Martino
Title: Director of Marketing and Communications
A Hand to Hold. (2020). Caring for Parents: When Siblings Disagree. In A Hand to Hold. Retrieved from https://www.ahandtoholdsd.com/caring-for-parents-when-siblings-disagree/