February 10

I love my family, but caregiving decisions are tearing us apart

2020 Blog


As your parents age, many find it stressful and frustrating to work with their siblings.  Why? Because there are so many things to deal with – conflicts with siblings, unequal workload, and not seeing eye to eye of how best to work with Mom and Dad.  The good news is there are ways to talk with and work through these issues.

Dealing with the past to ensure better care for your parents now

You love your siblings, but sometimes they know how to push your buttons.  Why wouldn’t they? They have been doing that since you were little children.  The challenges of the past are now being magnified as your work to care for your parents.  Here are 3 tips to help you deal with the issue at hand – caring for your parents.

Tip 1 – Involve Your Parents In The Decision

If your parents are still able to make decisions, it is important to include them in the solution. Who better to know what is best for them than themselves? If you have not already done so, it is important to consider an Advanced Directive.  This important document expresses the wish of your parents as it relates to their care.  If your parents have advanced beyond the ability to give their input in care decisions, this responsibility will depend on the children working together.

You are all adults now and it is more important than ever to work together for the good of your parents. Arrange a discussion with your siblings about your parents care. As you being the discussion, make it abundantly clear that you are here to discuss the care of your parents and every decision needs to be with them in mind.

Tip 2 – Share Care Ideas and Develop a list of Pros and Cons

As you consider care for your parents, an effective way to keep emotion out of the decision is to make a list potential care options. Discuss the pros and cons to each care idea and what it will take to make the plan work. 

It is important to realize that each person may not fully agree on a course of action to take. At these moments it is important to use effective listening and communication skills to address the concerns of your siblings. If you find yourself at an impasse, you may want to consider involving a third party to help mediate the decision.

Tip 3 – Talk With A Care Manager

A care manager can not only act as a mediator in the decision process, they can also be an asset with developing and implementing a care plan. A care manager will be well versed with all possible care options and will provide a medical non-biased opinion.

In conclusion, the most important part of this process is for you and your siblings to not give up on working things out for your parents. Remember that you all love your parents, even if you show it in different ways. As you work together and provide the proper care your parents require, you will rest easier knowing that a burden has been lifted from your shoulders.  You can also enjoy the family relationships you have created with your siblings and parents.

Image: Shore Counselling Services


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