Siblings, Gratitude and Aging Parents

Whether you’ve had a lifelong sibling rivalry or been the best of friends, sibling relationships can be very difficult to navigate when caring for an aging parent. I am in contact with many family caregivers, and I often hear about conflict between siblings around caregiving decisions and responsibilities. Some are at such odds that they either don’t communicate or have a great deal of trouble doing so. Others say that a simple expression of appreciation would go a long way …

Losing Mom: The Void That Can’t Be Filled

It is with an impossibly heavy heart that I write this post. Patricia Ann Stutz Goyer, passed on Oct. 11 after a brief and sudden illness. To many she was friend, mentor, teacher, director, aunt, sister, wife … to me she was Mom, and she has been the inspiration for so much of my work and writing over the past four years. Mom was a remarkable woman. She grew up in Indiana, salutatorian of her high school graduating class. She …

Does Caregiving Help You Live Longer?

If you’ve heard that being a family caregiver can diminish your life expectancy, the results of a new report from Johns Hopkins University should make you relax. It turns out that caring for a chronically ill or disabled family member can, in fact, extend a caregiver’s life. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter The recent research showed that caregivers live an average of nine months longer than non-caregivers. Researchers took participants from a pool of 30,000 in a National Institutes of Health …

Who Cares? Boomers Don’t Want to Live With Their Adult Kids, Either

Guess what Millennials? Your boomer parents aren’t dying to move in with you if they need care in retirement. That’s one of the takeaways of a new study. (With three young adult children, that’s what first caught my eye!) Bankers Life and Casualty Company’s Center for a Secure Retirement surveyed 1,299 Americans ages 49-67 (boomers) with an annual income of $25,000-$75,000 to find out their views on their future as recipients of care. In the study, boomers say that in the past …

What Are We Willing-and Not Willing-to Do for Mom and Dad?

How do we view our role in taking care of our parents? Are we willing to help them out financially? What about having them move in with us? And, what are our expectations for our own children when we need help? These intriguing questions are addressed in a just-released national, online study. This past June, MORE magazine surveyed 751 adults age 18+ with at least one living parent or guardian. The full story with results will be published online in the coming …

Sibling Squabbles Over Mom? 7 Tips for Getting Along

Relationships with siblings can be solid and fulfilling, yet when there are issues regarding aging parents, even the sweetest situations can turn strained or worse. Hot-button issues are almost always around money (your parents’, caregiving expenses and who pays), family possessions, Mom and Dad’s independence and safety, living arrangements or medical decisions. You know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen…. Or not enough. Your brother and sister might be delighted to leave the caregiving to you. …