As kids, we learned to share toys and games as well as our parents’ attention, and we tend to carry these feelings with us well into the adult years. As wonderful as it is to have brothers and sisters, there are times it can produce elevated stress levels, such as when taking care of aging parents. While loving each other and considering your siblings’ feelings was impressed upon us at an early age, a sense of sibling rivalry can still be a barrier when making tough decisions and trying to equitably share caregiving needs for aging parents.
Gregory French, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, says 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 in-home care professionals at Live Well at Home, can help family members make sure they’re on the same page and discover the most viable division of care for their loved one:
- Contact a mediator. Working with a trusted third party professional, such as an attorney, financial planner or in-home care provider such as Live Well At Home, can help in keeping the discussion on track and heading towards the very best resolution.
- Consider hands-on caregiving compared to financial support. Sharing caregiving duties fairly should include a conversation about how much time each sibling can invest in providing home care help, in addition to how much financial help can be provided. For example, a sibling who lives near the parent may perhaps be able to provide more in-person care but less financial support, while another sibling who lives in another state could offer more financial support but less in-person care.
- Document the conversation. Ensuring that everything talked over is documented assures that everyone is on the same page, and offers the chance to go back and revisit what was agreed upon later, should a conflict arise.
The most important thing to keep in mind when caring for aging parents is to agree to put aside old childhood dynamics in an attempt to come together to provide the highest quality of care possible.
Live Well at Home, top providers of the respite care Lincoln families depend upon, is readily available to partner with you in your journey in caring for aging parents. Our professional staff can provide you with the senior care resources you need to ensure that 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 are committed to making sure your family always has access to the very best care. Contact us online or call 916-459-3220 to learn more.