Reducing Conflict: Siblings Dealing with an Aging Parent

Disagreeing AdultsCaring for an aging parent is extremely challenging for one person, but when there are multiple decision-makers involved, it can be not only a challenge but a nightmare. In one regard multiple siblings can provide a level of support that can relieve some of the pressure on an individual caregiver. On the other hand, the group dynamic can become strained and at times combative when dealing with important decisions.

Topics That Can Cause Conflict Include

  • Schedules
  • Medical treatment decisions
  • Transportation
  • Living arrangements
  • Socializing
  • Household chores and upkeep
  • Long Term Arrangements
  • Management of parent’s finances

When it comes to caring for aging parents, the conflict between siblings is often much deeper than a typical disagreement. It benefits everyone in the group to practice compassion and empathetic listening when working through disagreements about where a parent should live, what each person’s responsibility should be, etc. An interesting exercise is to revert to your childhood roles and consider how past family-related hurts may be influencing a sibling’s current behavior. Remember, no matter how contentious things may become between siblings while caring for an aging parent, you are all in this together and you are likely sharing the same hurt watching your aging parent grow old.

Another good way to lessen sibling conflict is to carefully evaluate caregiving roles and re-evaluate as often as is necessary. Talk to each other and more importantly…listen to each other. Home health services can take off some of the pressure and allow family members to function as a family while leaving the hands-on caregiving duties to the home care agency.

In many cases, daughters feel the burden of providing hands-on in-home care for aging parents, even if they do not have the time or the financial means to do so. Sons often take care of the parent’s property and finances. You may be able to minimize conflict with siblings if each person is able to make a valuable contribution to the parent’s well-being based on the sibling’s current capabilities.

Respite care and in-home support for aging parents are extremely important in lessening conflict and preventing burnout. Having an extra set of hands on board can make all the difference. Siblings regularly disagree on who should drive the parents to appointments, who should assist with meals and household chores, etc. Again, it can be very difficult to meet all of an aging parent’s needs even when there are multiple family members involved. This is where we come in. An in-home caregiver can be a suitable stand-in when it comes to assisting with activities of daily living (ADL’s), such as assistance with bathing/showers, medication reminders, dressing and grooming, meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, running errands, providing transportation to appointments, and other important tasks.

Allcare Home Health Agency is proud to serve families facing challenges of all kinds, and we are more than happy to step in with professional, compassionate senior care for siblings and families throughout the Raleigh-Durham area. We assist with everything from day-to-day assistance with ADL’s to skilled nursing services. Contact our client care manager today to learn how our trained, experienced caregivers and RNs can help you and your siblings ensure that your parent receives the compassionate care, attention, and support that he or she needs and deserves. Our in-home care allows you to return to your role as a loving family member without the added stress of being a full-time caregiver. Give us a call at (919) 301-0236. We are available 24 hours a day.