I just read an interesting article from the New York Times called “They Can’t Go Home Again” by Paula Span discussing how strained family relationships can negatively impact caregiving for elderly parents. I personally know how difficult it can be to overcome the roles siblings have adopted over the entire life of a family when it comes time to take care of an aging parent: the competent child resentfully shoulders the bulk of the burden, the slacker child avoids any responsibility or obligation, the hostile child criticizes every decision to pick a fight, the long-distance child bemoans the fact they are too far away to do anything . Every member of the family naturally falls right back into the same old dysfunctional patterns they tried to overcome as adults out on their own, making it incredibly difficult to work together for the greater good of a parent in need.
The article discusses the kinds of problems that exist between siblings and parents while offering some good suggestions to help families work better together. It also sums up nicely why it important to work on these family relationships with siblings.
Because eventually, ailing parents will die — but siblings and their families will remain.
Reference: The New York Times