Do you recall how hard it could be when you were a child to learn the concept of sharing with your sisters and brothers? Even though the incredible importance of considering other people’s feelings, as well as being fair, was impressed upon us from a young age, it can nevertheless be a challenge to minimize sibling squabbles about stressful choices we face in adulthood – such as the right way to fairly divide caregiving needs for our aging parents.
Gregory French, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, explains, “What a family member considers ‘fair’ is very much dictated from that family member’s perspective…there’s a lot of family baggage that comes out, like: ‘Mom paid for your MBA, and she didn’t do that for me.’”
These instructions can help families arrive at an understanding on the most reasonable division of care for a senior loved one:
- Engage assistance from a mediator. Sitting down with the help of a respected third party professional, like an attorney or financial planner with an area of expertise in elder matters, can go a long way towards keeping the discussion on track and advancing to the very best resolution.
- Take into account hands-on care help vs. expenses. Dividing up caregiving duties reasonably should include a discussion on the length of time each sibling can dedicate to delivering caregiving in the home, and how much financial care can be contributed. For instance, a sibling dwelling in close proximity to the loved one may put in more time but less financial support versus one who resides in another state.
- Record the conversation. Getting everything documented ensures that everybody is on the same page, and allows the opportunity to go back and go over what was agreed upon later if a dispute should arise.
Most importantly, agree to put aside any residual childhood dynamics in an effort to come together to provide the highest quality of caregiving possible.
North River Home Care in the Boston area helps family have a healthy life balance through the professional in-home care services for aging adults that provide families with peace of mind in knowing their loved one is in the best of hands. Working with North River Home Care also means that individuals and their families can spend much more quality time together, while our properly trained and experienced caregivers help with some of the more routine aspects of care, such as housekeeping, laundry, preparing food, running errands like grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions, and much more. Call us at (781) 659-1366 for details.