There will be disagreements between brothers and sisters. All differences aside, when a parent becomes ill or needs assistance to manage their every day life you need to work together.

Agreement would be easy if we all had the same value system, but there are often differences of opinion. One of you wants mom to keep her freedoms as long as possible. The other sibling argues that we need to do something before mom hurts herself. Because both siblings have their mom’s care in mind, and it is easy to see there is an opportunity for quarreling, miscommunication, and hurt feelings.

Experts in these sorts of transitions recommend that you take an inventory of what each sibling brings to the table. What strengths does each member of the family have? In general it is advised to trust the sibling with a history of being good with money to care for your parent’s financials and the sibling with an understanding of construction to manage the remodel of the bathroom. If each one of you does something they are good at the load will be less for all and your parent will receive the best of care.

This doesn’t always happen, though. Often the sibling living locally sees the minor changes in mom’s behavior and wants to take action. The sibling that is home only for the holidays sees mom at her best and wishes to live in denial of anything bad happening to mom. How do you agree on what to do?

You can begin by respecting your mother’s wishes. If she does not have them written down this may be a good time to do that. Second, it can be helpful to get together to discuss everyone’s concerns or desires. Doing this early on can be a real help to avoiding quarrels later. Last, you can get a care management nurse or social worker to provide counseling and resource information. Care N Assist provides this service free of charge in Shiawassee County and is aware of those who manage these services for free in other areas.

Please call 877-743-4434 for information on how to best support your needs.