What to Do When Your Siblings Don’t Agree About Senior Care


Caregiving for an elderly parent is a task that sneaks up on families. Often, the adult child living closest is the first to help out – helping around the house, giving a ride to a medical appointment, picking up groceries. As the care needs of elderly parents increases, it can become increasingly demanding, and you need to discuss care options with your parents and siblings.

It’s not uncommon for families to argue about senior care and senior housing options. One sibling feels overwhelmed and that they don’t get enough help from the others. One sibling thinks moving Mom or Dad to an assisted living retirement residence is the best option, but another is reluctant to accept that option.

Often these arguments have more to do with the relationships between siblings than actual senior care. There can be a lot of resistance to seeing your “first family” (the one you grew up in) change, and arguing can be a way to stall those changes.

If you’re having an argument with your siblings about senior care, re-centering the discussion on what’s really best for Mom or Dad is an important way forward. 


#1 Investigate Your Options for Senior Housing

Find out what your senior housing options are actually like. You want to find a place your parents will want to live, so accompany them on tours of senior living residences.

Seeing senior housing options today can change your perspective. Retirement residences are increasingly focusing on active senior living A great example is Auburn Heights Retirement Residence, a seniors residence home in Calgary that features both independent living and assisted living suites. 

If you’re not sure what to ask, learn more about senior housing and what’s important right here.


#2 Ask Your Parents What They Want

The earlier you have this conversation, the better. Talk to your parents about what they want, and discuss contingency plans. They may not enjoy the health that would let them continue to live completely independently.

It can be a tough conversation to have, but it’s not for you and your siblings to decide without your parent’s input. Arguing families may want to insulate an elderly parent because of the tensions, but older parents shouldn’t be shut out of the conversation about their own care.

There may be other parts of the conversation you need to have as well, such as talking to your parents about parking the car for good and how they’re going to deal with transportation.


#3 Understand Where Disagreements Start

It can be tough, but understanding where disagreements start can go a long way. Take this scenario. One sibling lives close to their aging parent, while the others live out of town. The first sibling becomes a “default caregiver,” the one who’s easy to call and ask for help for anything big or small. They see how their parent is declining, and suggest senior housing options.

Out-of-town siblings who don’t see the decline because of their infrequent visits slip into denial, while the in-town sibling becomes resentful of all the responsibilities.

You can always contact us for more information about senior living communities in Calgary. Have an informed conversation with your family about the senior housing options available to you.

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