What to Do When Siblings Can’t Agree on a Parent’s Care Needs
For some lucky families, having all adult siblings gather around and plan how to take care of Mom and Dad as their parents’ health begins to fail is a great comfort. For other families, things can take a disastrous turn when siblings who never got along as kids and have had little to do with each other as adults are thrown together to make caregiving decisions.
For most families, navigating elder care decisions falls somewhere between these two extremes. Caregiving has a way of sneaking up on people, though. Generally, the adult child living nearest the aging parent(s) is who becomes, at the first sign of need, the default caregiver. That usually makes sense because proximity is a huge factor in how quickly or frequently a family caregiver can check in on or assist a loved one.
However, a few quick tasks and offers of help can quickly get out of hand. Your folks need some guidance on their Medicare coverage, so you stop over. Their yard is in desperate need of attention, so you start taking time away from your family to pitch in each week. Then it’s grocery shopping and rides to doctor’s appointments and then, well, you’re on your way to taking on a second job.
Preparation and Cooperation Are Key:
Ideally, before things get to this stage, you’ve had conversations with your parents about how they want their needs met during their later years. They’ve hopefully designated powers of attorney for both health care and finances, drawn up a will, and finalized any other legal documents and financial plans. It’s best if all siblings…
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “For anyone having to walk the last segments of life with a loved one, read this.” …Delores
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