Caring for aging parents can be a challenging task. With that said, having siblings to help can sometimes make the job easier. Having siblings around to help can take some getting used to though, especially if siblings have different ideas on what is best for your parents. Reading books on this topic is a good way to make caring for your parents with the help of your siblings much easier, and there are several books available for sibling caregivers to read. Books on this topic cover many areas such as financial struggles, feuds over family property, and medical care and provide valuable ideas and suggestions that sibling caregivers can draw on when caring for their parents together. In this article we would like to offer some book suggestions for sibling caregivers who are looking for advice on how to make things work with their siblings while caring for their parents.
The first book on the list is They’re Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy by Francine Russo. This book is a great book for sibling caregivers as it provides tips and suggestions on how to decide who should make major decisions or how to share in making major decisions with siblings such as medical, financial and end-of-life choices for parents. This book also provides tips on how to deal with unresolved family issues as well as new conflicts that might arise while caring for seniors. Family caregivers will also find a collection of expert advice from gerontologists, family therapists, elder-care attorneys, financial planners and health workers who have experience in this area and know a lot about what children can expect when caring for their aging parents.
Second on the list is Mom Always Liked You Best: A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles & Eldercare Crises by Arline Kardasis, Rikk Larsen, Crystal Thorpe and Blair Trippe. This book focuses mainly on family feuds that stem from issues with family property, estate planning and inheritance battles. Many siblings will face issues with family property decisions while caring for their parents, especially if their family property includes several valuable or desirable items. This book includes several examples to teach siblings how to communicate effectively with each other and learn to mediate their discussions when trying to decide how to handle family property and inheritance so that they can easily work through decision making together. The authors of this book have many years of experience dealing with these issues and have helped many families deal with their issues and resolve them.
Another great book for sibling caregivers to read is A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents–and Ourselves by Jane Gross. In this book the author shares some of her experiences while caring for her elderly mother with the help of her younger brother. This book provides some great tips for those who are trying to adapt to the new demands on their time and need help coming up with a way to deal with the costs of caring for their elderly parents. There are also tips for how caretakers can take care of themselves while caring for their parents so that they will not become angry or resentful during the process. The author also shares some of the lessons she learned while caring for her mother which can be helpful for those who are struggling with caregiving and need some inspiration.
Cain’s Legacy: Liberating Siblings from a Lifetime of Rage, Shame, Secrecy, and Regret by Jeanne Safer, Ph.D. provides an in depth look at sibling conflicts which are commonly ignored and never talked about. Safer is a psychotherapist that focuses on sibling psychology, and she draws on sixty in-depth interviews that she had with adult siblings who were struggling with conflicts over money, family businesses, aging parents, contentious wills, unhealed childhood wounds and blocked communication when they came to see her and uses them to provide insight and guidance to others who are dealing with similar problems. This book focuses less on caring for parents but is still very helpful as it can help siblings learn how to work through their issues with each other so that they can work as a team to care for their elderly parents.
Reading some or all of these books should make caring for elderly parents along with siblings much easier. Family caregivers can take the ideas from these books and adapt them so that they work for their family. Those who are still struggling can look for support groups in their area and talk with others who are working with their siblings to care for their parents.