Pine Creek 719-266-1100  Turner 719-338-3562    Contact Us

Issues Of Dealing With Family Conflict And Elderly Parents

Family Conflicts with Senior Care


As elderly parents start to rely upon family members for even more daily assistance, the number of problems and conflicts for the adult family members (children) typically increases significantly. Managing and dealing with mom and dad’s care can re-spark sibling rivalries, causing bitter relationships and tearing family members apart. 

Find out more concerning family member’s disputes that can take place when adult children are caring for at-need elderly parents.

Root Causes Of Family Members Conflicts

Family characteristics are infinitely complex, however, 2 underlying themes go through a lot of brother or sister disputes regarding their parent’s care: injustice and also inheritance.

1. Injustice

When one sibling has to deal with the care of a parent or parents more than their sibling, that feeling of unfairness can promote resentment. Typically, because of where they live, the adult children that live out of town and further away are unable or unable to care for the aging parent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  The sibling living in the same city feels obligated to take on all the care-giving roles.  When the sibling that is providing all the care-giving, requests for help from other family members, the other siblings often don’t understand the complexity, time and stress the one sibling is going through. 


2. Inheritance

A major conflict is adult children clashing over their parent’s finances and expenses.   With the average American family’s net worth declining since 2007, surviving family members have to separate an even smaller sized inheritance, which also increases the likelihood for conflict.     We all hope that money is not a motivator in family situations, but senior care and inheritance is a major cause of placing a wedge between siblings. 

Caregiving is demanding and very stressful by itself, however, when the caregiving expense and inheritance are contributed to a situation, animosity can develop and stew between siblings.  When the dynamics of adult children are already tested because one of the siblings is overburdened by the daily care, monthly expenses and inheritance issues can compound the animosity.

The sibling that provides the majority of the time and monetary resources of their parent’s care may feel that they deserve a larger share of the inheritance.  On the other side, the siblings that live out of the area and are not so much involved may feel that the sibling providing caregiving is spending too much money in the care-giving process.  There are also times that siblings will not place their parents in an assisted living facility, because they want to save the money for inheritance.

Tips for Improving Interaction with Your Siblings Dealing With Senior Care

There are no easy answers to resolve disagreements between siblings who are disputing and disagreeing over their parent’s senior care, however, continually working on communication is extremely important. Consider utilizing these suggestions for enhancing communication with your siblings during this time in caring for your parents:

Regular Family Meetings

Family members have a unique way of dealing with disputes, but when it comes to senior care for their parents, they need to address the issues and plan of attack as soon as possible.  All the siblings or family members need to be involved with the communication and care ideas to establish the best strategy for everyone.  Everyone needs to establish and understand their roles and responsibilities and how assisted living housing will be handled.  

Work With Advisors, Counsels or Mediators

When family meetings have become unproductive, it may be time to work with a counselor or family planning mediator.  Family counselors that specialize in senior care can bridge the gap between siblings to help defuse and help make plans and define responsibilities.  If the communication has become really bad, a family mediator that specializes in senior care might be able to set guidelines and rules for all the siblings involved.  

The High Road

Siblings need to realize that the main focus needs to be the parent in need and step up to the plate to make sure they are ultimately cared for in the best possible way.  While promoting the best route of the parent in need, it’s best to let go of animosity with siblings who have been hurtful or undependable for the betterment of your parents.

New Day Cottages in Colorado Springs offers a personalized small assisted living homes that provide a safe family environment for your aging parent and family members.  We want to relieve the stress and time of the adult children and family members and ensure that your parent in need is professionally cared for at this time of their lives.  For more information and resources for senior care, you can contact us or call us at (719)266-1100


Comments are closed.