Caring for Elderly Parents – Siblings Struggle with Senior Care

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,764
    Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care discusses how to deal with siblings who struggle with Senior Care.

    Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today I am discussing some interesting research that provides great insights into the issue that siblings face as they try to provide the best care for their aging parents. We'll also be discussing the 50-50 rule, a new program designed to help siblings communicate better, make decisions together and divide the care giving workload. First, let's discuss the results from the survey of adults in the US and Canada ages 35 to 64 conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network. The respondents have siblings or step-siblings and currently provide care for a parent or older relative or did provide care in the past 18 months. The survey was conducted by the Boomer Project, America's leading authority for information and insight about today's Boomer Consumer and the fast-growing 50+ age market. The research showed that an inability to work together often leads to one sibling becoming responsible for the bulk of care giving in 43% of families. 46% of caregivers say, their sibling relationships have deteriorated and their brothers and sisters are unwilling to help. 42% of family caregivers give themselves and their siblings below average grades for their ability to divide the care giving workload. 64% of youngest siblings are primary caregivers compared with 57% of oldest siblings and 49% of middle siblings. On top of these findings, siblings caregivers may need to deal with another factor. According to additional research by Cornell University's Gerontologist, Karl Pillemer, favoritism is also alive and well. He found that mothers, ages 65 to 75, in and around Boston, Massachusetts were perfectly wiling to name favorites among their children. The truth is birth order and parental preferences do impact care giving situations in families with multiple siblings. These are important factors to keep in mind as you and your siblings try to work together and make decisions on behalf of your aging parents. So what can you do? Home Instead Senior Care, the largest provider of homecare in the world, have partnered with Sibling Relationship Expert Dr. Ingrid Connidis from the University of Western Ontario to develop the 50-50 Rule, a program to help siblings deal with the many issues associated with caring for their parents.

    The 50-50 Rule refers to the average age 50 when siblings are caring for the parents, as well as the need for brothers and sisters to equitably share the care planning hence 50-50. So if you are in your 50s, and have siblings and are assisting with the care of your ageing parents or relatives, its time to develop a plan and the 50-50 Rule program can help.