"When Siblings Step Up" and "They're Your Parents, Too!"
A book was published a year or so ago titled "Theyâre Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parentsâ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy." This related article in the Wall Street Journal about a year (link below) is about how sisters and brothers can find "new ways to circumvent old conflicts" as parents age.
On the same webpage as the article is a recording of a good 11-minute audio interview the WSJ reporter did with the author of the book "They're Your Parents Too!" The book author says that there are several misconceptions when it comes to caring for aging parents. First is the misconception that if one of your siblings is taking care of your adult parent, that you're off the hook. Second is the misconception that caring for a parent is a practical challenge only. In fact, it's a "major emotional passage for the entire family and for each person in it....as [we face] the mortality of our parents." Caring for parents sets up the revival of sibling rivalry, the author says. As we care for parents, we fall back into old family roles but these roles don't work any more. The author says that there are psychological benefits to the family of working together. She encourages families to call in a "referee" if needed to mediate. Referees can be family therapists, geriatric care managers, social workers, clergy, and counselors. She lists resources on the book's website yourparentstoo.com. One of the best resources is the Eldercare Locator. A new resource is the Family Caregiver Navigator on the Family Caregiver Alliance's website (caregiver.org). For dementia support, she encourages checking into your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 08012.html
Wall Street Journal
March 27, 2010
When Siblings Step Up
Sisters and brothers are finding new ways to circumvent old conflicts as they take on one of the toughest roles in their lives: caregiver
By Anne Tergesen