Siblings are often the only people with whom you’ll have lifelong relationships. At many times, they are a powerful source of support. When it comes to working together to care for your aging parents, they can also be an enormous source of stress.
There is potential for conflict at every stage of the process — conflict about what to do, how to do it, and how to pay for it. Research shows nearly 40 percent of adult children who have cared for a parent said they experienced major conflict with a sibling.
Instead of spending time and energy fighting with one another, focus on putting aside your differences and working as a team to advocate for your parents.
Through patient communication and creative problem-solving, siblings can not only successfully navigate the decision-making process but even grow closer together. The key is for siblings to prepare emotionally and logistically and to know where they can turn for help.
“The earlier families can have the conversations about caregiving, the better,” says Crystal Thorpe, a professional family mediator and co-founder of Elder Decisions, in Norwood, Massachusetts, and a co-author of Mom Always Liked You Best: A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles & Eldercare Crises.
Navigating adult sibling relationships can be a challenge, but coming together for the sake of your parent is important. In this guide, you’ll learn about: