As our parents age, it’s common for siblings to come together to provide care and support. However, this can also be a time of conflict and tension. Differences in opinion, financial strain, and other factors can cause siblings to argue and become divided. But caring for aging parents need not split siblings. By taking the following steps, siblings can work together effectively and provide the best possible care for their parents.
Communication is Key
Open and honest communication is essential when caring for aging parents. Siblings should sit down together to discuss the situation and come up with a plan for providing care. This can include everything from who will provide the day-to-day care to how finances will be managed.
It’s important to recognize that different siblings may have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to caregiving. Some may be better suited to providing emotional support, while others may be better at handling practical tasks. By acknowledging each other’s strengths and weaknesses and dividing responsibilities accordingly, siblings can work together effectively.
Caring for aging parents can be emotionally and physically draining, and it’s important for siblings to take care of themselves as well. Setting boundaries and taking time for self-care can help prevent burnout and resentment.
Siblings should also be respectful of each other’s boundaries. For example, if one sibling lives farther away and can’t provide as much hands-on care, they should still be included in decision-making and kept up-to-date on their parent’s condition.
Focus on Parent’s Needs
When caring for aging parents, it’s important to keep the focus on their needs. Siblings should work together to ensure that their parent’s wishes are respected and that they receive the care they need in their later years. This may involve designating a power of attorney or healthcare directive to make decisions on behalf of the parent if they become unable to do so themselves.
Seek Professional Help
Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, conflicts can arise when caring for aging parents. In these cases, it can be helpful to seek the advice of a professional mediator or therapist who specializes in family dynamics. They can help facilitate productive conversations among siblings and find solutions that work for everyone involved.
Additionally, it can be helpful to consult with an elder law or estate planning attorney who can help ensure that everyone’s interests are represented and that the parent’s wishes are carried out.
In conclusion, caring for aging parents need not split siblings. By communicating openly and honestly, setting boundaries, focusing on the parent’s needs, and seeking professional help when needed, siblings can work together effectively and provide the best possible care for their parents.
Attorneys Christopher Botti and Paul Morison have over 60 years of collective experience in estate planning. Mr. Botti, is also a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law. Proactive planning with an elder law attorney will help you and your parent(s) understand and address the criteria you need to act and succeed.
Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. accepts clients throughout California and have offices in Ventura, Westlake Village, Santa Barbara, Valencia, Bakersfield, and San Luis Obispo, California.