Are you a caregiver for an elderly parent? Perhaps you are a senior yourself, caring for an aged sibling… This article from AARP was written by a man who moved his aging mother from Florida to an apartment near his home in Pennsylvania. The author of this article is the older of two brothers and there is a disagreement between the two siblings as to how much care their mother needs and who should provide the care. Dealing with these issues over their mother’s care has caused the resurfacing of some childhood dynamics.
A few terrific points have been made:
- Remember the stakes are high- when siblings work together the aging parent will receive better care
- Beware of reversion- try to see your sibling as an adult and don’t revert back to relationship patterns of early family life (work together as a equally respectable team, recognizing each others’ strengths)
- Shelf the sexism- sons are capable of providing good care to an aging parent (don’t expect your sister to always be the caregiver)
- Equality is unrealistic and possible inefficient- it may be one adult child is doing a large part of the care giving or decision making for an aging parent, but there are very real and helpful ways for other adult siblings to help out throughout the year (even if they live in another state)
- Be kind to one another- its okay to vent caregiving frustrations to a sibling, but always be respectful in doing so, and thankful for what others have contributed as well
- Advice is easy to give, but hard to implement- it is easy to say we “should do this”, but sometimes very difficult to implement… know that caregiving can be very stressful and being able to talk about it openly, respectfully (especially when there is a challenge) is a journey