Dividing Caregiving for Elderly Parents Without Dividing Up the Family

by JFS Care

Do you recall how challenging it could be as a child to learn the concept of sharing with your siblings? While the importance of thinking of other people’s feelings, and of being fair, was impressed upon us from a young age, it can still be a hurdle to minimize sibling squabbles when it comes to challenging decisions we encounter in adulthood – such as how you can fairly divide caregiving for elderly parents.

Gregory French, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, mentions, “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 techniques can help individuals and their families arrive at an agreement on the most fair division of care for a senior loved one:

  • Enlist the aid of a mediator. Sitting down with the help of a reputable third party professional, such as an attorney or financial planner with a specialty in elder matters, could go a long way towards attempting to keep the conversation on course and advancing to the most useful resolution.
  • Give some thought to hands-on care help vs. expenses. Dividing up caregiving duties fairly should incorporate a chat on how much time each sibling can commit to supplying care in the home, as well as how much financial care can be contributed. For example, a sibling staying in close proximity to the loved one may contribute more time but less financial support as compared to one who lives in another state.
  • Record the conversation. Putting everything in writing ensures that everyone is on the same page, and allows the opportunity to go back and evaluate what was agreed upon later if a disagreement should occur.

Most importantly, agree to set aside any lingering childhood dynamics so that you can come together to supply the highest quality of care possible.

JFS Care, top providers of home care in Hollywood and surrounding communities, helps families maintain a healthy life balance with the professional in-home care services for older persons that provide families with ease of mind in knowing their loved one is in the best of hands. Working with JFS Care also means that family members can spend much more quality time together, while our trained and knowledgeable caregivers assist with the more mundane elements of care, such as cleaning, washing clothes, meal preparation, running errands including buying groceries and picking up prescriptions, and much more.