When Caring for an Aging Parent Causes Sibling Rivalry

By Doris Kasold, 8:00 am on

Sibling rivalry is not something that is simply outgrown in childhood. As a matter of fact, this problem typically resurfaces when adult children become caregivers for their aging parent. Although some rivalry is normal and considered healthy, it can reach critical points, especially given the amount of stress caregivers are already under. The tension can become unbearable for the parent and caregivers, leading to a breakdown of the family. For this reason, Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Tampa Bay senior care, is going to explore some of the causes, effects and potential solutions to this dilemma.

Causes of Rivalry

Sibling rivalry does not always arise as a result of who takes care of mom or dad, or how much. Squabbles may involve money, medical decisions and even end-of-life care. However, often at the root of these disputes are feelings from childhood. For example, the oldest may feel as though decisions should be left to them and the youngest is often viewed as “the baby of the family” and is thus given less say than other family members. Siblings may begin to resent one another, point fingers and criticize how the other is caring for the parent.

Ill Effects on Caregiving

Identifying and solving sibling rivalry is essential when caring for an elderly parent. The ill effects of these disputes can affect quality-of-life for the elder, put a strain on other family relationships and negatively affect the level of care being provided. If left unchecked, some families stop speaking altogether. These changes in family relationships can lead to a variety of problems for the senior including depression as they may blame themselves for feuds within the family.

Dealing with Conflict

Open, honest and nonjudgmental conversation can assist in alleviating sibling rivalry and allow differences to be tossed aside in order to ensure the best care for the parent. Another great approach is to try to put the wishes of the parent first, when possible and safe to do so. This takes the focus off of individual siblings and onto the care of the aging parent. In some cases, these things alone may not be enough and professional counseling is a viable option.

When families are unsure of how to provide the level of care their loved one needs and deserve, they turn to Home Care Assistance of Tampa Bay. Sometimes, the outside perspective of a reliable and knowledgeable Care Manager can help you determine how to best divide care. Care Managers can also offer options for assistance such as hourly home care in Tampa Bay which can lift some of the burden of care so that families can return to their loving role as sons or daughters, not caregivers.

For more information about in-home care or to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, call 727-330-7862. Home Care Assistance of Tampa Bay is available 24/7 to help.

 

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