Caring for the ElderlyBeing a caregiver for somebody with Alzheimer’s is difficult enough, but having to do it together with siblings can complicate matters. Siblings caring for elderly parents will have different views on where mom or dad should live, how much money to spend on their care, who should provide the care, and the list goes on. Its natural for “”old battles”” and grudges to sneak into these difficult discussions as everybody is already emotional about facing the realities of aging parents.

With all difficult matters in life, the sooner you face them and develop a plan the better.

Third Party Help

A neutral, professional third party (e.g. Geriatric Care Manager) can help resolve matters or simply make the conversation easier by offering a care plan based on the needs of your parent, while balancing the various siblings’ opinions. A geriatric care manager guides and advocates for families caring for aging parents. You can find a care manager at the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Manager’s (NAPGCM) website.

Care Team Calendar

If various siblings, family, and/or friends are caring for your loves one, using the Lots of Helping Hands – Alzheimer’s Care Team calendar system can help you coordinate the caring activities with the people involved. It is also very useful in engaging others who would like to help, but don’t know how to and allows you to keep track of each person’s contribution. Now, when someone asks “”what can I do to help?”” the answer is “”give me your name and email address”” – the system takes over and allows people to sign up and start helping.

 Money Matters – When One Sibling Provides the Care

Sometimes one sibling has chosen to move in with mom or dad and become their primary caregiver. Other times, one sibling happens to be the only one still living in town and it falls on them to become the caregiver or care coordinator. In both cases, care is provided out of love but, caring for another person can be costly. How are you dividing costs of caring for your loved one? Should the sibling who is the primary caregiver get paid for their services? One realistic solution to this dilemma is presented in an article called “Should Your Family Pay You to Care for a Parent?“.  It’s a personal care agreement, a written agreement between the family member providing care giving services and the relative receiving care (or other family members in cases where the recipient is not competent to enter into legal contracts). Creating a personal care agreement can walk you through the hard questions together. It can prevent conflicts about who will provide care and how much money will change hands. It can also prevent inheritance disputes down the road.

Other Resources

The Family Caregiver Alliance has a few helpful resources to help you think about your family care giving dynamics and what steps you may want to consider: