Addressing Caregiving Conflict within Families

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Managing Caregiving Discord among Siblings in Massachusetts

A cohesive family unit is the foundation of high-quality care for a senior. However, when brothers and sisters are caring for an aging parent, sibling relationships can become increasingly tense and stressful. The consensus among family members is always to provide the highest level of care for their elderly loved one, but the journey there isn’t always easy. Here are a few common situations that arise when siblings care for parents and what can be done to resolve conflicts.

The Legacy of Family Dynamics

When siblings are faced with caring for an elderly parent, unresolved issues from childhood are likely to come to the forefront. Conflicts regarding their loved one’s care can quickly escalate, sometimes causing siblings to revert to past roles. For instance, the eldest may be forced to take on the most responsibility while other siblings take a step back. However, when siblings understand past arguments and strained relationships make it more difficult to provide high-quality care for their parent, caregiving as a unit can present an invaluable opportunity to come together and heal old wounds. Siblings need to sit down together and openly discuss problems with each other, even if they’re underlying issues from years ago.

Family members can easily become overwhelmed by their caregiving duties, and a professional home caregiver can be a wonderful addition to your caregiving team. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elder care. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

The Importance of Open Communication

The burden of care often falls on one member of the family, who often receives little to no help from siblings. In this situation, the primary caregiver needs to open the lines of communication, ensuring all siblings are aware of their parent’s health and included in decisions involving their parent’s care at home. A family member who lets his or her siblings know their input and assistance are wanted is more likely to receive help than one who remains silent. When help is offered, the primary caregiver should allow the siblings to choose the way they assist to minimize conflicts. Some may be more comfortable with housekeeping, grocery shopping, or providing transportation to doctor appointments. Demonstrating willingness to compromise encourages siblings to remain engaged, and the “divide and conquer” approach ensures continuity of care for the senior.

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Wellesley, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

The Value of Assistance for Primary Caregivers

There are circumstances when other family members can’t or won’t help with caregiving. Physical distance, work commitments, and raising children are all common reasons a sibling may not be able to provide maximum assistance. When this happens, it’s important for the primary caregiver to find a way to work past negative emotions and move forward. Harboring resentment, frustration, and anger adds to caregiver stress and makes it difficult to deliver high-quality care. Resources are available outside the family unit that can help primary caregivers handle the strain of caregiving. These include local support groups and respite care from a reputable home care agency.

Many conflicts over caregiving responsibilities can be resolved by hiring a professional caregiver for your loved one. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated at-home care, Wellesley, MA, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (781) 239-0060


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