This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org.
How will changes in my aging parents affect family dynamics and sibling relationships?
Recognize that if your family had difficulties in the past co-existing, those dynamics are probably not going to change for the better. Even good family relationships can deteriorate from the stress involved in caregiving decisions. If all family members try to focus on your parents and their well-being, it can help prevent any actions to their detriment.
It may be helpful to have a family meeting, including all the siblings, to discuss what roles different family members can play in providing support to mom or dad. If you find it difficult to get your siblings to agree to sit down and talk, consider engaging a professional to facilitate the discussion. Geriatric care managers are experts at assisting families in negotiating the push and pull of difficult dynamics. Recognize that family members can contribute in different ways, be they financial or otherwise, to form a cohesive plan of support.
To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org.