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Q & A

How do you and your siblings decide who is responsible for taking care of your aging parents?  Do you divide the responsibilites, or is only one in charge of their care?
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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jul 3, 2009
    • Many times it’s the child who lives the closest to the parents.  Or it’s often the oldest child that carries the burden.  And in my case, I fit both of these criteria.

      I don’t mind being the primary child with the responsibility, but I don’t want to be challenged by my siblings.  If I am willing to take on the burden, then I expect them to support me in my efforts.  I do not want them to second-guess my actions.  Yet I respect their need and desire to be involved in our parents’ care even if on a limited basis.

      Any ideas how can I address this with them in a non-confrontational way?




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Jul 4, 2009
    • Invite them over for a get together where you will have this as the topic, ask them to make a list of any concerns they may have, make a list of things that may come up and have your responses ready for what you would do in the situation, ask what they would do different. Forward thinking and planning for things that may come up may help you all be on the same page as to what actions need to be taken. Some situations cannot be forseen and some decisions may have to be made on the spot. It is a tough spot to be in, I wish you luck.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jul 4, 2009
    • Thanks lazylola.  I can see that dscussing things before they happen whenever possible, can alleviate some of the potential for tension.  That’s a great idea.  Better to share some common ground before the emotions and stress of the moment set in when the time comes for action.  

      I will make it a point to open the door for some such discussion.  My sister will be with me later this week, so I will take the opportunity to talk it over with her.  

      Thanks for your concern.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jul 5, 2009
    • Tamra:  There are (4) of us girls.  I’m the youngest of the girls.  My mother is 82 years old and has had alzeheimers for 11 years...since my father passed away.  My sister who is the No.2 child in birth order has POA for my mother.  She has worked for attorneys off and on in her past. We felt she was the best to handle our mother’s affairs.  We all live right here where my mother is and we all do our part.  If you have more than one POA..and all designated people have to make all decisions together...it makes it very hard to make those decisions when al have to be there at the same time.  So having one POA makes it much easier to handle affairs.  But also...everyone must get along..and pretty much agree or think along the same lines.  If this isn’t the case...unfortunately it makes taking care of a loved one...difficult.  

      For us...my sister will send out an email of anything we need to know or if she has to make a decision she will call us and ask us what we think.  I will have to say 100% of the time...we have always agreed or felt the same way.  So..I know our situation is rare and we are so grateful for it.  

      Our mother is in a nursing home and between the four of us..someone is checking in on her throughout the day and on a daily basis.  We have a wonderful nursing home that is affliliated with a local large hospital.  She is in an alzheimers wing..with about 25 other patients.  She gets excellent care and I do believe none of us could take care of her like they do everyday.  And not only do they take care of our mother...they love her.  

      I feel that if you are the POA...the best way that to handle making decisions is to always let others know what is going on.  Now..minor things I feel you just need to handle...but when it’s more important issues...letting your siblings know keeps them included.  For those that may not live where you and your mother are...it may already be difficult for them...emotionally knowing they can’t be close to help.  Give them something they can do living away.  There are things they can handle or do.  And if any come to town...then YOU take the break.  

      Taking care of aging parents is not easy and not to mention the emotional aspect of it all.  Hope this helps.happy




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jul 6, 2009
    • Thanks Mary and Renee for sharing your stories.  I find others’ personal experience very interesting and helpful as I take the same journey.  

      Mary, what a blessing to have good care for your mom.  Her condition is heart-breaking, I know, and to have good care relieves some of the sorrow of dealing with this devasting disease.

      Renee, you are a good sister!  Being that far away must sadden you at times, but you are there when you are needed.  That means a lot to everyone, I’m sure.

      Sounds like the key is communication .  Yet, my biggest problem at the moment is how to make contact with my sibling.  I know that sounds lame, but it's vital, and I haven't found a way that works yet.  Cell phone, land line phone, emails, text messages.....nothing is working to connect me to her in a timely manner.  However, that will be easy to work out, once we get a chance to communicate in person later this week.  We just have to figure out a system that works for everyone.

      Would love to read more personal stories for more new ideas.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie66 wrote Jul 6, 2009
    • Tamara.. My mom has 4 kids and I’m the 3rd one.. My siblings just assume that I take on the responsibilities of caring for my mom which by the way I don’t mind at all.. I do EVERYTHING for her, take her to the dr buy her meds..I live across town and she calls on me for everything.. But I finally put my foot down and told my older sister and older brother that they need to start helping out, I told them that I live the farest and it would take me awhile to get to her house and help her..My brother lives a few seconds down the street and my sister lives about 5 mins away.. They weren’t to happy at first due to the fact that they were use to me doing everything for her.. But they finally came around and started to help. My “lil” brother doesn’t come around at all and when he does, bringing her money is good enough help on his part, so he says..
      So now my sister and brother go and check on her make sure she took her meds and give her her daily insulin shots.. I have POA, she chose me and 2 out of the 3 siblings were ok with it, except my older brother he thought he should have POA but he wanted me to do everything for our mother, all he wanted was to make the decisions.. I told him that was fine but he was going to do everything too not just the decision making..We finally sorted things out and he’s ok with me having POA..
      My mom can no longer see because her diabetes and at first my sibilings couldn’t handle it, but I just told them she is the same person she always was and if she is ok with losing her eyesight then they should too..
      My “lil” brother uses that excuse that the reason he doesn’t come around on a regular bases is because he can’t deal with the fact that my mom isn’t the same person he was use to seeing when he was growing up..
      But thats on him, I’m not going to worry about him and just keep doing what I’ve been doing for my mom..




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Jul 6, 2009
    • I’m blessed that my dad, at age 80, takes better care of himself than I do.  When the time comes that he needs help my brothers will be able to provide it because they live in the same time as my dad.  I think proximity plays the major factor.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janet Wooley wrote Jul 7, 2009
    • You know this is a difficult subject for alot of people. My parents are both in good health 69 & 72. They are active and don’t need help at this time in their life but I know the time is coming and I don’t mind at all helping out. They raised me and were good parents. Without a doubt I will be there for them they were for me. I think it is going to be very difficult for my dad as he is very independant.
      But as far as my siblings honestly I can see it as a problem they are so self centered. I think they would vote to have them put in a home somewhere rather than deal with it. Here is where what goes around comes around plays out.




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