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Caring for Aging Parents: How Siblings Can Best Work Together

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Learn strategies to best work with siblings when caring for aging parents.

When we were kids, we were taught to share our toys as well as our parents’ attention, and those same feelings tend to carry with us well into our adult years. As remarkable as it is to have siblings, there also are times it can cause increased stress levels, such as when caring for aging parents. Although of course loving each other and taking into consideration your siblings’ feelings was impressed upon you at an early age, a sense of sibling rivalry may still be an issue when making challenging decisions and trying to fairly share care needs 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 ideas, from the Georgetown home care professionals at CareFor, can help family members find common ground and put together the fairest division of care for their loved one:

  • Work with a mediator. Meeting together with a trusted third-party specialist, such as a lawyer, financial planner or in-home care provider like CareFor, can significantly help in keeping the discussion on track and working towards the ideal solution.
  • Weigh the difference between hands-on caregiving as opposed to financial support. Sharing caregiving duties fairly should include a conversation about how much time each sibling can invest in providing home care help, along with how much financial help can be provided. For instance, a brother who lives in close proximity to the parent may well be able to handle more in-person care but less financial assistance, while another sibling who resides across the country may offer more financial support and less in-person care.
  • Document the conversation. Making sure everything discussed is documented ensures that everyone is on the same page, and allows for the chance to go back and revisit what was agreed upon at a later time if a conflict should arise.

The most important thing to bear in mind when meeting the care needs of aging parents is to agree to put aside old childhood dynamics in an attempt to come together to provide the very best care possible.

CareFor, top providers of the Georgetown home care families rely upon throughout Williamson County and the entire Austin area, is readily available to partner with you in your journey in caring for aging parents. Our highly skilled staff can provide you with the senior care resources you need to help 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 are committed to making sure your family receives the very best care. Contact us online or call (512) 338-4533 to learn more.