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Elder Care Sibling Tensions: What to Do About It

Caring for an elderly parent can be stressful. While we would do anything for our mothers and fathers, we are still only human, and acting as a family caregiver inevitably takes a toll. Caring for elderly parents can also lead to conflict amongst siblings. Some may disagree with the type of care the parent is receiving or perhaps how the care is being administered. 


So how should you address 
elder care sibling tensions? First, lets look at some of the most common causes of sibling disagreements over elder care. 

What Causes Sibling Tensions When Caring for Elderly Parents?

When disagreements between siblings occur, it usually involves one of the following factors: 

  • Everyone Doing Their Part: Some siblings thinking that others are not doing enough to help is likely the biggest cause of elder care sibling tensions. Some may feel that others are not pulling their weight, forcing them to take on more responsibility. 
  • Roles & Relationships: Everyone in a family has their role. For instance, the older brother, the youngest daughter, etc. And while this isn’t necessarily a cause for tension, when put into a stressful situation, certain issues may come to the forefront. Siblings who have felt slighted in some way by the parents may feel less inclined to help, and vice versa. 
  • Cost of Senior Care: Regardless of the level of care your parent is receiving, there is almost always some monetary cost involved and, just like with splitting other responsibilities, some siblings may feel like they’re spending more. There is also the issue of the inheritance and whether that is being used for the parent’s senior care. 


Tips for Resolving Conflict When Siblings Disagree on Elder Care:

  • Consider the Services of a Neutral Third-Party Such as a Counselor/Advisor: If you find that you and your siblings simply can not agree on elder care options for your parents, it may be necessary to consult a counselor or mediator. This person should be completely neutral (no friends or extended family) and all siblings should agree before reaching out to a third party for advice. 
  • Call a Family Meeting: You’d be amazed at how even just meeting up for a cup of coffee with your siblings can help defuse any sort of tension. This meeting will give everyone an opportunity to speak their minds and get on the same page. Additionally, you can consider having regular meetings, perhaps on a monthly basis, to address any issues or concerns that come with siblings caring for elderly parents. 
  • Create a System/Schedule for Divvying Up Responsibilities: Knowing that concerns over everyone pulling their weight can be a major cause of tension, creating a schedule to ensure that responsibility is divided up evenly can address this issue. Additionally, you may find you’re able to worry less about your parents knowing that someone always has their needs covered.  
 

Have More Questions About Elder Care?

Whether you and your siblings are caring for your elderly parents, or you just have questions about senior care options in general, you can contact a senior care advisor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and get your questions answered. And these calls are at no cost to you. Contact a senior care advisor now: 215-371-3400.