Sibling Rivalry Over Aging Parents: Finding a Fair Caregiving Balance

Sibling Rivalry Over Aging ParentsDo you recall how difficult it could be as a child to learn the concept of sharing with your sisters and brothers? Despite the fact that the incredible importance of taking into consideration other people’s feelings, as well as being fair, was impressed upon us from a young age, it may still be a hurdle to lessen sibling squabbles when it comes to hard choices we encounter in adulthood – such as the right way to fairly divide caregiving needs for our aging parents.

Gregory French, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, mentions, “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 ease sibling rivalry over aging parents to reach an agreement on the most fair division of care:

  • Engage the help of a mediator. Sitting down with the help of a trusted third party professional, such as an attorney or financial planner with an area of expertise in senior topics, could go a long way towards trying to keep the discussion on track and advancing to the most useful resolution.
  • Look at hands-on caregiving help vs. expenses. Splitting up caregiving duties fairly should include a chat on how much time each sibling can devote to delivering care in the home, as well as how much financial care can be contributed. For example, a sibling dwelling in close proximity to the individual may donate more time but lower financial support versus an individual who lives in another state.
  • Record the conversation. Putting everything in writing makes sure that everyone is on the same page, and allows the opportunity to go back and go over what was agreed upon later if a dispute should develop.

Most importantly, agree to set aside any residual childhood dynamics in order to really come together to provide the highest quality of care possible.

CareWorks Health Services helps family have a healthy life balance with the professional in-home care services for older persons that provide families with peace of mind in knowing their loved one is in the best of hands. Partnering with CareWorks Health services also means that family members can spend even more quality time together, while our fully trained and knowledgeable caregivers assist with some of the more mundane elements of care, such as cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, running errands including food shopping and picking up prescriptions, and much more. Call us at (949) 859-4700 for details.