Parent Care: When Family Conflict Arises

An article appeared on 7/3/2012 on a Place for Mom that caught our eye. The article”Family Feud: When Siblings Clash about a Parents Care” written by Jeff Anderson what we have seen as a common occurrence for families dealing with the care of an elderly parent or parents especially with dementia. Conflict is something that is hard to avoid in many circumstances.

Anderson briefly looks into common causes and has some suggested remedies. He cites the following causes of sibling conflict:

  • Injustice– This is when one sibling shoulders the disproportionate burden of the responsibility for the parent.
  • Inheritance-This is about money and how it is spent on the care of the parent.
  • The Perfect Storm– When the two combustible elements listed above combine the atmosphere can become toxic and can hurt the parents and can permanently divide families.

He recommends the following solutions:
A family meeting-This should be an event where everybody has equal input and all issues are dealt with in an open and frank way. If the conflict has gone beyond this being realistic you need seek outside intervention.
Outside voice– Includes mediation councilors or family advisers

Take the high road– Do what is ultimately best for your parent. It’s not about you or your sibling. It’s about having your parent live as well as possible.


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