Several children are a joy in many families for a lot of reasons, but one of them is because the parents can relax, knowing it’s likely one of their kids will be able to take care of them in their old age. But this can also create conflicts later on, because with more children come more opinions about Mom and Dad’s later life.
Much advice has been given about having regular family meetings before care becomes necessary, and regularly after that. But oftentimes, people have so little time when they’re together for holidays or birthdays that a meeting (let alone a meeting about uncomfortable topics) just isn’t a priority. That’s where video-messaging can come in handy. While it’s possible to conduct meetings over the phone, having a video chat can make things a little easier since facial reactions can be seen. To schedule these video chats, try using Doodle, a scheduling website that’s easy to use.
Once you have a meeting time set, you should figure out what there is to discuss. If possible, a draft agenda should be sent out by the sibling that is the most involved in the parents’ care. If sent out early enough, replies can be sent by the others of what items they would like added or questions they would like addressed.
The siblings who are not caregiving should try their best to be at least peripherally involved in the decision processes. The more people who are actively participating, the less alone the main caregiver feels. This might prove difficult, as the main caregiver should still be making the day to day decisions, but it’s really just like how it is in all families: a balancing act of not hurting anyone’s feelings while doing what’s best.