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Caregiver Sibling Resentment: Dealing With Caregiver Anger

Dear Allegra:

My mother has been living with one of my sisters for the past year. I have another sister living nearby, too. Between the three of us we try to share our mother’s care.

The sister that our mom lives with is feeling “dumped on” by me and my sister. She is angry and feels that we are not contributing equally. Maybe we’re not helping enough!

I work full-time outside of the house and have a family. While my sister has a job too, she works out of her home. Except for my mom, she is a recent empty nester. We employ a wonderful woman who comes to my sister’s house to help care for my mom two times a week.

Because my mother-in-law lived with my husband and me for six years, I know how tiring full-time caregiving can be. I also understand how isolated it can make you feel.

Is there a counselor that could meet with us and assess our situation? We are looking for someone to suggest improvements or changes so that our sister does not feel so burdened.


Caregiver Resentment: Working with Siblings to Care for a Parent

Dear Lisa:

It sounds like your sister has a lot on her plate! Working full-time and having a live-in parent who needs a lot of care is a demanding schedule. You said your sister works out of her home which may be making things more difficult for her. If she is not able to have uninterrupted time in her home office, her work may be suffering.

Caregiver sibling resentment can make navigating a parent’s care more challenging. Finding ways for everyone to contribute equally is important.

Those of us who work in the senior care industry have witnessed how family caregiver anger and resentment can lead to permanent rifts among family members. So, it’s good that you are taking steps to intervene before this situation escalates. Sometimes the solution can be as simple as siblings paying for more hours of in-home care to give the primary caregiving sibling a regular break.

There are several groups of professionals you can turn to for help dealing with caregiver anger and bitterness.

Aging Life Care Managers

Also known as geriatric care managers, these professionals are well-versed in senior care options and the needs of older adults. They take a holistic approach to assessing and supporting the needs of seniors. Most have a degree and experience in a health or human services profession, such as social work, counseling, or gerontology. Search the Aging Life Care Professionals Association database to locate an aging life care manager near you.

Elder Care Mediators

These professionals are trained in the process of reaching an elder care solution. They are familiar with the needs of aging adults and the variety of senior care options that are available to meet those needs. Elder care mediators offer unbiased advice. That means they put the needs of the senior first. Family members might not always be happy with the recommendation, but you can feel confident it comes from a place of experience and objectiveness. You can use your zip code to search the National Care Planning Council’s directory for a mediator in your local community.

I hope this information is helpful, Lisa! I wish you the best as you try to create a caregiving plan for your mother.

Kind regards,