When Siblings Argue Over a Parent’s Senior Care
It’s heartbreaking to watch your parents age, especially when you and your siblings become caregivers to the person who has always been the one who cared for you. In many families, this difficult time becomes even harder when adult children do not agree on what’s best for their aging parent.
What if your sister thinks it’s time for your Mom to go into assisted living, while you think she would be happier with an in-home caregiver? What if you live closer to your Dad and are almost always the one doing all the work, while your siblings don’t seem to carry any weight? Or, what if you’re carrying most of the financial burden for your parent’s care, while your brother stands idly by?
Situations like these can tear families apart, at a time when an elderly parent needs peace and stability the most. While you may believe that you’re right and your sibling is wrong, continuing to argue is not in your parent’s best interest. So how best to resolve a seemingly intractable elder care dispute?
The first step is to ask your sibling for a calm discussion, and then really listen and try to understand their point of view. Ask questions and try to get to the heart of the matter. You might be surprised to learn that despite your differing opinions on exactly how to care for your mother or father, both you and your sibling are both motivated by love, and you both want the same thing: stable, loving care for your parent in their final years.
Once you’ve established this understanding, it’s much easier to work together to find solutions that have your parent’s best interests at heart, so that you and your siblings can focus on making the most of the precious time you have left with your mother or father.
If tensions continue to simmer, my objective dispute-resolution service may be the next step to help you and your siblings move past the family feud and toward family harmony.