How to Avoid Sibling Conflicts When Caring for Aging Parents

As our parents age, we are faced with tough decisions on how to provide them with the care they need. Two common questions that adult children face are: (1) Who will provide the needed care; and (2) Where will mom or dad receive their care? Such decisions are not always easy to make. Family members can view care issues differently, leading to conflicts, especially when one sibling is the primary caregiver.


At Bellomo & Associates, we understand that these situations are stressful, emotional, and can be exhausting, causing conflicts and family duress. Through our work with clients and families, we find that such conflicts are quite common; however, we believe that many conflicts can be avoided by having aging parents proactively identify their wishes and verbalize their plans and desires related to the “what if” scenarios clearly and frequently.


If your aging parents have not yet talked openly about their wishes and expectations, we urge you to start the conversation with them as soon as possible. By committing to discussing the “what ifs” with your parents, you can prevent differences of opinion and sibling conflicts down the road. Open and honest communication is key, and we recommend having such conversations early and often.


Another crucial step to preventing unnecessary sibling conflict is to have a formal caregiver agreement drafted if a family member becomes a paid caregiver. This agreement is an essential tool for clarifying the financial parameters of the care being provided and preventing misunderstandings between siblings.


To learn more about caring for aging parents and avoiding related family conflicts, we invite you to attend an upcoming workshop on estate planning and elder law. Our team of experienced attorneys will provide you with the information and tools you need to make informed decisions and avoid conflicts. Additionally, consider attending a Life Care Planning workshop to meet our firm’s Client Care Advocate, Meg Motter, LCSW, and CDP. Having Meg on your family’s team as a mediator and resource can make a difference in navigating the stressful dynamics of so many encounters as you care for your aging loved ones. Register now for a workshop at Bellomo & Associates and start planning for your family’s future!