Caring for Elderly Parents – Sibling Hot-Button Issues

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,175
    Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care discusses sibling hot-button issues.

    Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, and today I am discussing the Top 5 Sibling Hot button Issues when it comes to caring for ageing parents.

    Family care giving can be stressful under any circumstance but certain situations are hot button triggers. These events can make care giving much more difficult. Let's run through them.

    Hot Button Issue number 1 is illness. A parent who becomes ill or faces declining health can leave a family facing all sorts of potentially difficult issues. Who provide the additional care? Will one sibling, often because they live closest to their parents bear the brunt of the care giving? Siblings can have differing opinions on the types of care their parents should receive. To further complicate the situation, many illnesses present changing needs and siblings will need to be flexible to address changing health issues. Hot Button Issue number 2 is money. No surprise here as money matters often complicate life at any stage, let alone when dealing with an aging or ill parent. The recent recession has left many older adults with depleted savings, while others may be outliving their nest eggs. Siblings can be forced to make tough care giving decisions, when their loved ones finances factor into the equation. Hot Button Issue number 3 is inheritance. While some families content with a lack of funds to provide care for their loved ones, others have a temptation of inheritance, influencing their decisions. If one sibling is encouraging a parent to spend a sibling's inheritance and another is coaxing that parent to save money, trouble is sure to ensue. Siblings will need to recognize, this highly emotional issue can easily escalate in to a family feud one where everyone stands to lose.

    Hot button Issue number 4 is distance. Siblings who live in the same town, city or province, as their parents, maybe stuck with most of the caregiver work. Research shows that in 43% of families one sibling is responsible for the bulk of the care for mom and dad. Long distance caregivers can feel left out, or if they do speak up, viewed as meddling by the primary family caregiver. The final Hot Button Issue is stress. Daily life can be stressful and family care giving can make it more so. Adult caregivers who have started a new job or are raising children can soon become overwhelmed when elderly family members need help. Siblings who are bearing the brunt of care giving may resent their brothers and sisters who are unable or unwilling to help, leading to additional stress.

    So those are the top 5 issues that cause siblings to struggle when caring for their elderly parents.