siblings arguing over how to provide care for their elderly parents. eldercare disputes are common among siblings and tear families apart

Research shows that even when there are several adult children, just one (a daughter, usually) emerges as the so-called primary caregiver and handles the bulk of her parents’ care. But Ms. Milgram-Bossong finds that minor consolation.

“Even if I had a sibling in California, I’d have someone to talk to. I have no one to bounce ideas off, to think about what I’m not thinking about,” she said. Widowed in her 50s with no children, she’s determined to do well by her parents when they need her, but the prospect keeps her awake nights.

“My brother has a lot invested in denial: ‘They’re fine, they’re fine, they’re fine.’ My sister wants to keep them in that house, so she can move there when she retires.” When Ms. Reiss explains to her sister that the house will most likely be sold to finance their parents’ care, “she scowls and storms off.” She added, “A lot of hostility can flare up over this.” Her parents made Ms. Reiss their executor and trustee, but as the youngest sibling, she’s finding that her brother and sister resent her authority.

Glenna Mills, a San Francisco sculptor, has seen this firsthand. Disputes about who would take charge of daily decision-making for her parents, in assisted living in Idaho, grew so explosive that now three of seven siblings no longer visit or talk to their parents at all — or the brothers and sisters they disagree with. “It’s horrifying,” Ms. Mills told me in an interview. “We were always an extremely close family.”

Read more in the New York Times.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.