Caring for aging parents is an issue that can cause tension among family members. Even siblings who get along otherwise might bitterly disagree with each other when it comes to caring for a parent. If left unresolved, these disagreements can cause old resentments to flare up and turn into a full-blown conflict, which can worsen what might already be an extremely stressful situation.
Common Issues Related to Caring for Aging Parents
Different Opinions on the Level of Care Needed
Differing opinions on the type of care and level of care needed for the parents can be a primary cause of conflict among family members. For example, one sibling might feel that the parents should be institutionalized whereas others might not feel the same way.
Disagreements over Making Caregiving-Related Decisions
In many families, one sibling tends to make all or most of the decisions related to caregiving without consulting with other siblings. It can make the other siblings feel left out or unimportant, which in turn can lead to conflicts.
Dividing Caregiving Responsibilities
In a perfect family, each sibling would divide caregiving responsibilities equally among themselves without any conflict. Needless to say, a vast majority of families are not perfect and disagreements and disputes over caregiving responsibilities are extremely common. The sibling who lives closest to the parents often has to bear the bulk of the responsibility, which can cause feelings of resentment and lead to conflicts.
Paying for Caregiving
Siblings might also quarrel over who should pay for what and whether some of the costs associated with caregiving are really necessary. Particularly, if there is a notable disparity in the income levels, the sibling who makes less might expect the sibling who makes more to pay more, rather than dividing the costs equally.
When someone’s condition deteriorates to the point that they can no longer take care of themselves, the issue of inheritance will arise eventually. The siblings might disagree over who should get what, who should pay off the debts, and many other issues.
How to Resolve Caregiving-Related Conflicts Amicably?
There are many steps you can take to resolve caregiving-related conflicts or avoid them altogether. These include:
- Consult with a doctor and a mental health expert if needed and determine the type and level of care needed for your parents. If none of the siblings lives close to the parents or if none of the siblings is capable of providing the level of care needed, hiring a caregiver who can provide live-in home care might be the best option.
- Calculate the cost of caregiving as well as the costs associated with your parents’ day-to-day needs and decide who should pay for what.
- Talk to all your siblings and make sure everyone is as involved as they want to be in making caregiving-related decisions.
- Do not turn the discussion on caregiving into a battle of egos. Focus on what actually matters – your parents’ well-being.
- Talk to your parents about creating an estate plan so that the issue of inheritance can be sorted out while your parents are still healthy and of sound mind.
Home to Stay – The Most Trusted Choice for Senior Care
At Home to Stay Senior Care Solutions, we know that caring for an aged parent can be a difficult task – due to the sheer amount of patience and effort it involves. If you have a parent who is disabled, is suffering from dementia, or is simply too old to take care of themselves, we can provide them with the support and care they need.
We have highly qualified home health aides who can provide live-in home care on a 24/7 basis. All our caregivers are bonded and insured and have a track record of exceeding our clients’ expectations.
Call us today at 856-321-1500 or contact us online to learn more about our senior care services.