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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Caregiving without siblings

The question posed by the author of this article, Paula Span, is whether it is easier to shoulder the crushing responsibility of elder care on your own, or battling with siblings at a time when working together is crucial? Anyone with aging parents needs to think about this.

My own experience is that, with my parent in another province with urgent health care needs, I thank God for my siblings who are willing to share the workload. Yes, we battle sometimes. The decisions being made matter to everyone; this is our parent we are talking about! Like all estate-related matters, there is a huge emotional factor to take into consideration.

The things that are working well for us are the things that all of us kids talked about together, in advance. Obviously we didn't anticipate everything, but the matters for which we had a plan really did work out. I wish we had done more of this. I would urge all of you with an aging parent, and with siblings, to think ahead to anticipate what is likely to happen over the next few years. Talk to each other about it. Talk about living arrangements, finances, health care. I'm not saying make the decisions for your parent without consulting your parent; I'm saying be prepared.

Click here to read this article in the New York Times.

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