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Protecting Elderly Parents From Siblings

Image of siblings having a serious discussion

A sibling taking advantage of an elderly parent is not only a heartache but it can cause family disputes over elderly parents to erupt. These disputes cause bitterness or even long-term estrangement between sisters and brothers.

Elder care sibling tensions are very common, and they can usually be attributed to one thing…money!

If you’re one of the many siblings caring for elderly parents, maybe these tips can help you create harmony in the family and the best environment possible for your aging parent.

What can you do if a family member is taking advantage of elderly parents?

There are several things you can to do protect your elderly parents from the siblings taking advantage of them.

  • Have a family meeting. Try not to be confrontational or judgmental. The meeting should focus on the elderly parent (s) and what their needs are today in in the future. Explain the financial situation and let everyone know the importance of monitoring and preserving Mom or Dad’s resources to provide care in the future.
  • You may have to see an elder care attorney and appoint someone to be the legal power of attorney to protect the assets if siblings can’t come to an agreement.

What if siblings won’t help elderly parents?

  • Not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. Maybe one of the siblings can do the grocery shopping, take Mom to the hair salon, or mow the lawn. There may be a sibling who loves to cook and would be willing to prepare some meals to put in the freezer. Focus on people’s strengths and positive contributions. Stay positive!
  • If siblings don’t help elderly parents, you can’t make them. Try not to be resentful. Do what you can to help your parents. If it’s too much for you to manage, you may have to reach out to your adult children, church friends, or others who may be willing to help when they can. Maybe a friend or neighbor would be willing to pick up groceries or stop in to check on your parents when you’re not able to do it.

Kindness and understanding each other’s circumstances will go a long way when the time comes to join forces and provide care for your aging parents.

Communication and a positive attitude can be the key to a successful caregiving journey for everyone concerned.

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