Siblings fight. It is natural. However, when it comes to helping your parents it can be much more complicated than a bicker over who gets to host Thanksgiving. So, what can you do to prevent fighting over senior care for your parents? 

If you and your siblings fight over what the right choice is for your parents, it is important to realize what the other person has done for them. I can be hard to see what your parent’s needs are if you are not there for them as much as the other sibling or vice-versa. There are obvious reasons like work or distance that can make it harder for one sibling to be supportive of their parents’ wellbeing. However, it would be highly beneficial for a short period to split the help evenly (50/50) to have a better understanding of their needs. To find a senior care option that benefits the needs of you, your siblings, and your parents it is necessary to figure out an accurate picture of the type of help your parents need and how much help they need. 

You and your siblings should try to establish an overall plan of how you should move forward for the wellbeing of your parents. The first goal should establish that you will always put your parents’ health, safety, and independence above any argument. Although it may not always seem like it, the root of all the arguments with your siblings is wanting what is best for your parents. The second goal should establish that you must come together as a team while using each other’s strengths to come up with a solution. The third goal is to be there for each other. You should work together to help your parents, but more importantly helping each other get through a difficult time. 

To achieve these goals, it is important to … 

  • Research. Educating you and your family is very important to understand what is necessary for your parents’ needs. You can try splitting up the research of senior living and home care options and help each other call and visit the potential options. 
  • Hold a family meeting and keep everyone in the loop. Find a time that works for everyone and plan what you want to say ahead of time to get out everything you want to say and give time for others to speak. Try to remind yourself that you all have the same goal: to give your parents the care they need. 
  • Get finances and legal papers/ directives in order.
  • Seek medical guidance. Even with all your research, a professional will be able to guide you through the process and help you decide what is best for your parents medically. 
  • Focus on the needs of your parents. As a group, you can all write down what you believe your parents’ needs are. 

If possible, make a senior care plan before the issue begins. This will prevent any issues involving time frame and may ease some of the stress from the situation.