Siblings Unite! Caring for Aging Parents

Deborah Hutchison

The reality of our parents growing older can creep up on us. One day Mom is busy shopping, gardening, visiting friends, while Dad is taking his usual morning jog around the neighborhood. The next day, one or both parents can become ill or incapacitated, and just managing the basic functions of daily life can quickly become impossible for them.

 

The Family and Friends Caring for our Aging Parents Agreement provides children of aging parents with a framework for creating a constructive conversation among siblings about how to take care of our parents as they age. Perhaps one sibling will be designated to accompany the parent on doctor's appointments; another might take on the task of working with parents on their financial or legal affairs. At a certain point, one sibling may become the primary caregiver and the Caring for our Aging Parents Agreement will help spell out how others will contribute so that the primary caregiver is not alone or feeling taken for granted.

 

Working through this agreement while parents are relatively well and independent is the ideal situation, helping all members of the family realize what will be involved down the road. The Caring for our Aging Parents Agreement will help siblings work things out together, talk through difficult issues, and keep the family bonds strong.

 

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