Siblings may not always share the same views, especially when it comes to decisions about how best to support an aging parent. Sibling rivalry may even temporarily distract from an elderly parent’s care. Despite the bickering, squabbling and cold shoulders, elderly parents increasingly rely on the help of family.
Adult children who live in close proximity to their parents are more likely to be the first ones who notice mom is too frail to cook meals or dad’s grooming habits have taken a turn for the worse. Signals like these indicate a need for additional assistance at home.
Sibling altercations about a parent’s home care erupt for many reasons. Financial disagreements may emerge. The ego of an adult child may bar other siblings from participating in the parent’s care. A sibling may refuse to help, insisting they do not have the time. Others may claim they cannot bear to see their loved one experience a gradual decline. When the sibling who lives nearest to the parent assumes the stressful responsibility of caregiving, she is likely to experience growing resentment.
Money matters, too, heavily influence family dynamics. The adult child who takes care of mom or dad feels she is due a larger family inheritance. Siblings living further away may challenge the notion or refuse to contribute to the overwhelming cost of home care. The distant, opposing sibling may misunderstand the expenses caregiving entails, only to insist that too much money is apportioned to the parent’s care.
An aging parent’s home care is ideally shouldered by all siblings, either financially, by helping with paperwork or in some other remote capacity. Financing home care is a monetary burden that no one should manage alone, especially when two or more siblings have ample opportunity to contribute.
Home care options are bound to be a part of the discussions between siblings. Siblings are likely to express differing views on whether or not or even how frequently a parent should receive support at home. Keeping communication lines open between brothers and sisters opens the door to the most optimum care plan for an elderly parent.
When siblings disagree for any reason about implementing home care for elderly parents, a few steps may be taken to help resolve the ongoing disputes.
Uncommunicative siblings cannot know what the other is lacking. Siblings should directly ask a brother or sister to step in regarding mom or dad’s home care. Direct requests serve to offer far more benefits than assuming the sibling “should know” a parent has certain needs and then feeling alienated when needs fail to be met. Siblings should be specific in what they ask of the other, such as how much money a parent needs for home care or how much of the sibling’s time is required to implement care.
Calling family meetings between siblings is important when mom or dad’s home care is in question. During such meetings, all adult children are given a briefing on the parents’ healthcare requirements, how the caregiving sibling contributes and where additional resources are needed. Family meetings are ideal scenarios, as all parties have ample opportunity to brainstorm and develop a home care plan that suits the needs of the parents and adult children.
For example, during the meeting, the primary caregiving sibling may bring up the idea of establishing family funds for respite care. All caregivers need relief, and respite care provides a much-needed break. The family meeting also provides an opportunity for open air discussions about 24-hour care and live-in home care.
Strengths and weaknesses in a parent’s home care are made visible. Siblings can hash out their disagreements or come to amiable resolutions that benefit their elderly loved ones. The family meeting is the perfect vehicle for resolving disputes between cooperative siblings.
Geriatric Care Manager
When tensions between siblings are too high, bringing in an outside professional can steer the emotionally charged situation toward a practical compromise. A geriatric care manager can be a social worker or nurse who specializes in assessing and meeting the needs of elderly individuals through the coordination of available resources. Geriatric care managers are experts in developing an appropriate plan of care, and do not directly provide personal care.
Geriatric care managers offer clear objectivity, since they are rarely emotionally involved in the parents’ care. Such impartiality is invaluable given the often subjective nature of disputes between siblings. While hiring a geriatric care manager is pricey, the senior’s improved quality of life via bettered home care choices is a worthy investment.
A professional counselor can mend worn sibling relationships. Psychologists, mental health workers or social workers can help smooth out the misunderstandings and ease the frustrations between siblings. If siblings are willing to cooperate for the sake of their parents’ well-being, then counseling is a workable solution.
Elder care mediators help families negotiate. These professionals do not force actions; rather, they facilitate discussions so that siblings come to practical resolutions regarding senior home care or other elder care matters. Mediators are important in curtailing siblings from drastic actions, like lawsuits or guardianship petitions. Local court systems can help families locate a suitable elder care mediator.
Sibling rivalry, with the right type of intervention, is a passable hurdle. Many families find relief in any of the above methods to resolve disputes about a loved one’s home care. Reaching amiable resolutions takes effort. But when siblings do come together, they are more than likely to agree that Assisting Hands Home Care is the ideal senior home care agency to meet mom or dad’s growing care needs.
Assisting Hands Home Care
Assisting Hands Home Care offers comprehensive, non-medical care for the elderly population. Professional caregivers provide personal care, live-in care, dementia care and transportation, among many other invaluable services.
Turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for your aging loved one’s needs. The esteemed elder care agency serves the families and their senior loved ones in Aurora, Illinois, and the surrounding communities.