A new study that was developed in part at the University of Western Ontario has found that there may be some key strategies to overcoming any sibling disputes when it comes to caring for an older parent. Here are five topics to cover during a discussion:
1. Caregiving duties. Many families believe that caregiving responsibilities aren't evenly distributed.
2. A parent's finances. If a loved one no longer has the ability to reason clearly, siblings often get into arguments over inheritance and estate planning, along with other financial matters.
3. Senior health. There are often debates about what an older parent is able to do and whether he or she requires additional care.
4. Elderly alert system. While this isn't included in the given topics, families should also discuss the ways that a personal emergency response system can help a senior live safely and independently.
5. Childhood rivalries. Everyone is grown up now, but that doesn't mean that siblings won't fall back into time-honored roles – even if it's as the family bully.
It can be very beneficial if families reach an understanding, both for sibling relationships and a parent's health. Taking the time to discuss each one of these issues may result in less stress and anxiety about the future.