Find a Community

Working with Siblings to Care for an Aging Parent

Working with Siblings to Care for an Aging Parent

Tensions can run high among adult children when a parent’s health begins to decline. While each sibling has good intentions, it isn’t uncommon for families to struggle to agree on what is best for a senior loved one. This is especially true if a parent has Alzheimer’s or another disease that requires a higher level of care and support.

What can you do to manage conflict and make sure the parent receives the best possible care?

Here are a few suggestions you might find useful.

How to Get Along with Siblings When You Are Caring for a Parent

  • Remember your ultimate goal: If you feel tensions escalating, take a deep breath and encourage your siblings to do the same. Remind yourself and your family members that you all share the same goal: to take care of your parent. Getting angry and upset will prevent you from working together and doing what is in your parent’s best interest.
  • Communicate often: The process of creating a plan of care for a senior loved one will likely take time. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open among siblings as you are figuring out what to do. Don’t let hard feelings simmer. Try to accept that this is a difficult process for everyone and avoid holding grudges. 
  • Be respectful: Even when you disagree with your siblings or other loved ones who are trying to help, be respectful. Explain your feelings and concerns in a calm, cool manner. Being disrespectful can further inflame difficult situations and put everyone on the defensive, including your parent. Barry J. Jacobs, a family therapist and clinical psychologist with the AARP, says that disagreements over caregiving can affect sibling relationships for the rest of their lives. Don’t risk creating an irreparable break with a sibling.
  • Share planning responsibilities: It is important for everyone to pitch in and help not only with caregiving tasks, but also with planning for the future. It’s important to create both short-term and long-term plans for your parent’s care. Splitting up tasks like interviewing home care agencies, calling senior living communities, and exploring options for financing senior care can help everyone feel like they are part of the solution.

Find Answers to Common Questions about Senior Living Costs

Families typically have many questions about senior living, the cost of care, and what options they have for financing senior care. It’s an issue we tackle often on our blog. Visit our Financial Planning page to read more about topics ranging from the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Benefit to how to discuss money with a senior parent.

If you have questions about what type of care a parent needs, one of our experienced team members will be happy to help. Call the Five Star community nearest you today!

Subscribe to the Five Star Blog

Don't miss out on the latest tips, research and stories from Five Star to help you and your
family navigate aging well.