How Adult Children Cope With a Sibling’s Mental Illness

Over a lifetime, the longest relationship typically is not with parents, partners or children, but with siblings. Research focused on these family ties identifies five types of sibling relationships: the intimate, the congenial, the loyal, the apathetic and the hostile.” But when a sibling suffers from a mental illness, the relationship can fall outside those norms. Indeed, the Alliance on Mental Illness noted:  It is now understood that mental illness in a family creates a ripple effect that can capsize …

A Caregiver’s Precious Last Gift From Her Big Sister

She carried me when I was tired. She protected me when other kids were picking on me. She introduced me to new experiences and music, from dancing to the Beatles in 1964 in our West Lafayette, Ind., living room to my first Grateful Dead concert in 1968 — where she lifted me to the stage so I could dance with the band — to the music of Keith Jarrett in 1982. When I entered those tumultuous teenage and young adult years …

How 17 Siblings Scored a $20 Million Jackpot

Can you plan to win the lottery? Judging from the amazing story of the Endreson family’s $20.1 million bonanza in the New Jersey Lottery, the answer just might be yes. The family’s lottery pool – originally conceived by matriarch Flossie Endreson, who died in 2004 at the age of 85 – finally paid off big when her 17 surviving children won the Pick-6 Lotto on a quick-pick game board purchased for $1 at a 7-Eleven in Fork River, N.J. >> Get travel …

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 …

3 Things Siblings Can Do to Care for a Parent

Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., who specializes in helping families cope with serious and chronic medical illness. The brothers and sisters who file into my office have tight-lipped, apprehensive looks. They’ve voluntarily chosen to meet with me for a caregiving consultation in order to find a way to better coordinate their efforts to help an aging parent. But they’re afraid of what might happen once we begin talking: Will old rivalries and resentments rear their …

Elder Mediation Helps Quarreling Siblings Find Middle Ground

As much as you may love your sibling(s), issues involving your aging parents often lead to arguments — and even sometimes serious altercations within the family. Check out AARP’s article on a new form of family problem-solving, elder mediation, that helps siblings see eye to eye when trying to figure out what’s best for their parents: At an impasse, the family turned to elder mediation. In this fast-growing field, a trained, neutral conflict-resolution professional–sometimes an attorney or therapist–meets with adult …