Sibling Rivalry and Caring for Elderly Parents
In her new book, They’re Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy, journalist Francine Russo writes about a difficult stage of life: the “twilight transition” when boomer-aged siblings reunite to care for aging parents. This period is laden with new challenges – dividing assets, dementia, caregiving issues – and has the potential to inflame old sibling rivalries as adult siblings deal with the end of their first family and take over their parents’ place as the decision-making generation. As noted by Ms. Russo in a recent interview with The Globe and Mail: “There’s a huge re-emergence of sibling rivalry over parents because when we see that our parents’ time is limited, all the unmet needs we’ve had resurface: to be loved, approved of, forgiven….”
In her book, Ms. Russo interviewed siblings, gerontologists, family therapists, elder-care attorneys, financial planners, and health workers to offer practical advice on such topics as:
– the negotiation of caregiving issues and dealing with unequal contributions or power struggles;
– the making of major medical and financial decisions, when parents cannot;
– how to cope with unresolved childhood rivalries and hurts; and
– tips for avoiding conflict.
Click here to read Ms. Russo’s interview in Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail.
Bianca La Neve
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