Do you recall how challenging it could be when you were young to learn the lesson of sharing with your brothers and sisters? While the incredible importance of taking into consideration other people’s feelings, and also being fair, was impressed upon us early on, it may still be a challenging goal to minimize sibling squabbles regarding complicated decisions we struggle with in adulthood – such as how to fairly divide caregiver costs and requirements for our aging parents.
Gregory French, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, points out, “What a family member considers ‘fair’ is very much dictated from that family member’s perspective…there’s a lot of family baggage that comes out, like: ‘Mom paid for your MBA, and she didn’t do that for me.’”
These recommendations can help individuals and their families achieve an understanding on the most reasonable division of care for a senior loved one:
- Enlist the assistance of a mediator. Sitting down with the help of a trusted third party professional, such as an attorney or financial planner with an area of expertise in senior issues, could go a long way towards keeping the conversation on course and continuing to move forward to the best resolution.
- Give some thought to hands-on caregiving help vs. expenses. Dividing up caregiving duties fairly should incorporate a conversation on the length of time each sibling can devote to supplying care in the home, and how much financial care can be offered. For example, a sibling staying in close proximity to the loved one may put in more time but lower financial support in comparison to one who resides in another state.
- Record the conversation. Putting everything in writing ensures that everybody is on the same page, and allows for the possibility to go back and go over what was agreed upon later if a disagreement should arise.
Most importantly, agree to set aside any residual childhood dynamics in an effort to come together to supply the highest quality of care and attention possible.
Home Matters, home care agency, helps families maintain a healthy life balance with the professional in-home care services for aging adults that provide families with peace of mind in knowing their loved one is in the best of hands. Working with Home Matters also means that families can spend greater quality time together, while our trained and experienced caregivers assist with some of the more everyday elements of care, such as housework, laundry, preparing food, running errands like shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions, and much more.