Caring for an Elderly Parent: Preventing Sibling Disagreement

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
01/05/16  10:05 AM PST
Caring for an elderly parent

Any caregiver with siblings may experience their share of conflict when it comes to caring for an elderly parent with medical needs. When there is a consensus about the decision of who’s going to be the primary caregiver, it’s usually smooth sailing until an issue arises with a health condition or financial matter.

It’s not uncommon for sibling criticism to arise on a range of specific areas such as the parent’s diet/nutrition, weight, activity level, personal appearance, or mental function decline. The primary caregiver may feel under attack and frustrated. In the worst case scenario, conflict can cause a falling-out among siblings.

The best way to ensure family harmony in these situations is through clear communication and high visibility of care matters.

5 Tips for Preventing Sibling Disagreement

  1. Create a caregiver summary document and provide a copy to all siblings. The summary could include details about the daily schedule/routine, caregiver responsibilities and costs. If respite care can be assigned for a few or more days each month, this is the perfect place to list a schedule.
  2. Provide a medical reference list to all siblings in the event of family outings or extended visits. This list should include a copy of the medical insurance card, doctor contact information, medical supplies needed and medication/dosages.
  3. Communicate regularly to family members on changes in the parent’s health condition, so there are no surprises.
  4. Ensure the family is aware of your parent’s wishes regarding power of attorney, a living will or advanced directive. Consult with an eldercare expert or attorney if assistance is needed.
  5. Have regular family gatherings and encourage frequent visits. Staying united is important to keep the family bond strong and have open communication.

For more resources on elder care planning, please visit

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Recent Caregivers


  1. Not overwhelmed,My husband Carlos knows what he can & can’t do as fair as walking,his walking is limited; Thanks to those who claimed they could of helped him if they’d seen him and cared for him sooner after War, way back then….No not you guys has nothing to do with Doctors or Nurses,and you guys like your Works Beatiful ,you guys really care, I Tip my Hat to you all for So,much that you do,T. Y. but Carlos is happy at Home w/ me & his Family,

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