Negotiating Senior Care with Siblings

July 30, 2015

Agreeing on your the care of your senior parent(s) can become evermore complicated when a few siblings are thrown into the mix. There’s often lots of opportunities for miscommunication, misunderstandings, and even arguments about the things that you don’t all agree on. However, taking care of your senior loved one can provide you with a deep level of personal satisfaction and having a plan set in place before you get into crisis mode can do wonders. We’ve put together our best tips for helping you prepare yourself (and your siblings) for ensuring the best care for your loved one. After all, you are the ones that probably understand your parent’s needs best and you can give them what they need!

Be Proactive
A family meeting should be planned before your parent(s) even need immediate care. This helps everyone know what to expect once the time comes that your loved one needs more care and it alleviates the stress that will inevitably arise once the time comes to make some changes.

Siblings First

Before you expand your communication to other relatives, you need to build a plan with your siblings first. They are your parents not your relative’s parents, and although they may help if you ask for it, a solid plan with your siblings should be made before exploring those options.

Divide and Conquer

Once you have a plan (who, what, where, when, and how you are going to care for your parents), you need to divide the work with your siblings and what you have planned must be put in action. For example, someone may be the financier, while someone might take on the actual care.

Don’t forget your kids or your siblings’ children, they can help in some ways as well! A simple visit or a call to their grandparents can make a huge difference. This will also make joyful memories for everyone involved. 

Communicate Regularly

This is especially important if you don’t live close to each other. Make sure to schedule regular phone calls, Skype sessions and face to face time with your siblings to stay updated on plans regarding your loved one. Honest and open communication will help you each voice your concerns and make the best possible decisions for your parent’s wellbeing.

Understand that Level of Care Will not be Even

Finally, you must understand that the level of care will not be even and will probably never be even. Arguing over who spends how much time providing/visiting parents can cause resentment and deep frustration. Instead, focus on what kind of help each sibling can bring to the table. 

Caregiving is not easy and it can be even more complicated when more people are involved. You each want what is best for your parents so with a little bit of thoughtfulness and a good plan, you’re well on your way. Your parents will appreciate it more than you will ever know!

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