When a parent needs extra care, many families are unsure of how to begin. Roles and duties tend to fall naturally, but this can often leave one sibling to take care of Mom or Dad while the rest don't help out. Consequently, this may lead to embittered relationships that don't help the caregiver or the care recipient.
"Senior caregiving can either bring families together or cause brother and sister conflict," Dr.
Ingrid Connidis said. "In some cases it can do both. These issues can be very emotional."
This may lead many families to opt for skilled nursing care, which may help caregivers better cope with the different distributions of responsibilities. Additionally, adult children may want to consider hiring a financial advisor who can aid them in navigating estate and inheritance planning, so these plans doesn't end in more disagreements.
If a parent is able, Connidis recommends talking to them about all of the issues that arise during caregiving as well. Family meetings may help work out problems, but households may want to consider inviting a third party to mediate the conflict.
Experts suggest that one should take into account whether a parent should move into an assisted living community, but should also defer to a parent's judgement until it seems that he or she is incapable of safely living alone.