How To Work With Your Bossy Older Sibling When Deciding On Your Parent's Senior Care

One or more of your parents have gotten to the point where they are needing a little in-home healthcare. They are open to it, but you and your older sibling are having a major struggle with deciding the best course of action. Specifically, they are trying to boss you into accepting their care ideas. Here's how you can break that behavior and get your parents the care they need.

Siblings Often Clash On Senior Care For Many Reasons

Why do siblings clash about their parent's senior care? There are a variety of reasons, including fighting over inheritance and control issues. Assuming the first problem isn't the case with you two, it's safe to say that your older sibling simply want to control the situation. That is to say, they believe that they know what is best for your senior parent.

The problem here is that the real damage is going to come not between you and your sibling (though damage may occur there), but in your parent's care. If you spend months trying to decide on the best care method, your parent's basic needs might be ignored.

Even worse, they might end up having a stroke or another health issue during a time when they could have been attended by a home healthcare aide. If the stakes are so high, why does your older sibling fight so hard for control over the situation?

Oldest Children Are Often The Sibling "Boss"

If your oldest sibling is trying to bulldoze everyone (including your parents) into accepting their senior care ideas, there's a chance that they may be suffering from "bossy sibling" behavior. This typically occurs in older children who are used to taking care of their younger siblings. However, by the time you are looking to work out care needs for your senior parent, you'll all be adults.

Sit down with your sibling and have an honest discussion about what both of you want for your parent. Tell them that you aren't just disagreeing to disagree and that you also want the best for your parent. Like your mother or father, they may perceive you as the "baby" and want to treat you as such until you assert yourself respectfully.

Talk To Your Parents About This

This might seem like obvious advice, but it's something that many children may lose track of when arguing with their siblings. You might be so focused on getting your way that you lose track of what is important: your parent's senior care needs. Sit down with them, your siblings, and talk about what kind of help they want.

Really stress specific examples of care they need (such as having someone grocery shop for them or do their laundry). While you are having this conversation, try to watch them for signs of cognitive impairment (such as memory loss and confusion) to gauge if more serious help is necessary. If not, work with your parent and your sibling to find a solution that everyone likes.

This process will take a little time, but it is worth it for your parent's needs. Remember that your sibling has the needs of your parent in mind, too, even if they disagree with you on the best way to manage those needs. You're not enemies, and shouldn't behave as such.