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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What to Do When Your Siblings Cannot Agree On What to do With an Elderly Parent

It can be difficult to watch our parents age. The ones that once cared for our every need may have developed care needs of their own. As parents advance in years, there are unique challenges that will need to be faced and you and your siblings may not be fully prepared to handle it all. It can sometimes feel as though the care demands of your parents seem to have come out of nowhere. When the caregiving demands of your parents escalate to a point where they need a more dedicated caretaker or more comprehensive care, such as moving to a nursing home, getting everybody on board with a decision can be more difficult than you think. So, what do you do when you and your siblings cannot agree on what to do with an elderly parent? We will share some tips with you here.

What to Do When Your Siblings Cannot Agree on What to do With an Elderly Parent

Discussions involving parents, particularly those that require an honest reflection on aging parents and their increased needs, can be highly emotionally charged. Finding the right time and place to talk about this kind of thing can be easier said than done. You may only be in the same physical space as your siblings on celebratory occasions, which are not really the best time for an intense discussion about the future. Otherwise, you may need to do something less than ideal, such as scheduling a zoom meeting. As long as you set aside time to talk in a private setting, hopefully, when everyone is prepared to confront some tough issues, that can suffice.

The discussion may be different depending on what arrangements are currently in place for caring for an elderly parent. Do they have any in-home help? Is a family member or loved one taking on caregiving duties? Are the caregiving demands exceeding the caregiver’s current abilities and they may require more? Those that care for your elderly parent, as well as siblings that may spend more time with the parent, should be given deference as they will likely be more in tune with the growing needs of the elderly parent. It can be tough to hear that your parent is exhibiting signs of needing more care, but these are important realities to face.

If the discussion becomes unproductively heated or emotional, it may be time to shut it down and revisit the topic at a later date once everyone has had more time to process things and explore options. If the difficulties continue and you and your siblings seem to be hopelessly deadlocked about what to do, you may want to consider recruiting the help of a neutral third party such as a family counselor or a mediator. Sometimes having someone removed from the emotions and family dynamics of the situation can be invaluable in providing clarity and sifting through things to get to the heart of the matter.

Estate Planning Attorneys

At Merlino & Gonzalez, we are here to help guide you and your loved ones through the unique legal and planning challenges we so often face when we age. We can put legal plans and protections in place that help guard a future you want for yourself and your loved ones. Contact us today.


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