How To More Fairly Share Caregiving Tasks And Expenses

Lessons Learned As A Child Can Help Adults Learn To Share Caregiving Responsibilities.

It may have been difficult when young to learn the lesson of sharing with siblings. Despite the fact that the incredible importance of thinking of other people’s feelings, as well as being fair, was impressed early on, it may still be a hurdle to minimize sibling squabbles. This is especially true regarding difficult decisions faced in adulthood – such as how you can reasonably share caregiving obligations for aging parents or to know when senior care services are needed.

Gregory French, the president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, explains, “What a family member considers ‘fair’ is very much dictated from that family member’s perspective…there’s a lot of family baggage that comes out, like: ‘Mom paid for your MBA, and she did not do that for me.’”

Recommendations For Families To Come To An Understanding

Keep in mind the following ways to agree on the most reasonable division to share caregiving for a loved one:

  • Enlist help from a reputable third-party professional. Examples include an attorney, mediator, or financial planner with an area of expertise in senior topics. This effort could go a long way towards keeping the conversation on track and moving forward to the best resolution.
  • Take into consideration hands-on care help vs. expenses. Splitting up care reasonably should incorporate a conversation on how much time each sibling can commit to delivering care. Also, consider how much financial support can be provided. For instance, a sibling dwelling in proximity to the senior may offer more time but reduced financial help. This is a fair comparison to another sibling who resides in another state.
  • Document the conversation. Getting everything documented ensures that everyone is on the same page. This allows for the opportunity to go back and review what was agreed upon later if a dispute should arise.

Most importantly, agree to set aside any residual childhood dynamics. This effort will enable everyone to come together with a plan to share caregiving requirements equitably. Have a unified goal of providing the highest quality of care possible.

Additional Information

Read more about dividing and sharing caregiving costs without splitting the family.

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