Dominique King Lean in with Love

Navigating family trauma while caring for aging parents

Dominique King Lean in with Love(Oct. 23, 2023) — Q. Growing up, my brother and I did not have a good relationship with our mother. Now that she’s aging and needs more care, I find myself in a difficult situation. I don’t have the financial means to place her in a care facility, and I’m struggling to have her live with me. I’ve reached out to my brother, asking him to either contribute to the cost of in-home care or share the caregiving responsibilities equally, but he has declined to do either. Any suggestions on what I should do?

A. Caring for an aging parent, especially when there’s a history of trauma within the family, presents emotional and financial challenges. In your situation, it’s tough to afford care facilities and living with your mother is challenging. Your brother has refused to contribute financially or share caregiving responsibilities. Here are some suggestions for addressing this dilemma:

Effective communication: Initiate an open and respectful conversation with your brother. Share your concerns and the emotional toll caregiving takes on you. Seek to understand his perspective, as there might be underlying reasons for his refusal, like financial constraints or personal issues.

Mediation: If communication falters, consider involving a neutral third party, such as a family therapist or mediator, to facilitate discussions and reach a mutually agreeable arrangement.

Assess financial resources: Explore available financial resources for your mother’s care, like government programs, Medicaid or other assistance. Consult with a professional to optimize these resources.

In-home care options: Research affordable in-home care services tailored to your budget and your mother’s needs. Agencies can provide various levels of support.

Community resources: Look into local programs and organizations that offer caregiver support, respite care or subsidies for senior care services.

Respite care: Prioritize your well-being by considering respite care, allowing you to take breaks and recharge.

Legal and financial planning: Consult an attorney to handle legal matters like power of attorney and advanced health-care directives. Look into estate planning if there is property.

Seek support: Connect with caregiver support groups for emotional help and practical advice.

Set limits: Recognize your boundaries and seek alternative living arrangements for your mother if necessary, prioritizing her safety and your well-being.

Navigating this situation involves effective communication, financial exploration and seeking support while prioritizing your well-being. Making arrangements for older loved ones without established plans or safety nets is challenging. I want to stress the importance of leaning on an established support team or encouraging you to begin building one.

Be well; you are worthy.

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Dominique King
Dominique King

Dominique King is a blogger who centers around marriage, family, fitness and personal growth. Her insightful and practical approach to advice gives everyday couples, parents and individuals a space to get answers to their questions.