There are many heartbreaking moments to navigate when our parents start to depend on us for care. But few are as painful as fighting with our siblings.
This doesn’t always happen. Sibling relationships can be a source of strength and comfort as parents grow older. But, more often than not, friends tell me about severe conflicts they have with their brothers and sisters, and the suffering it causes.
Like so much to do with caregiving, these clashes often come as a surprise. No one imagines that by caring for their aging parents, they’ll be thrust into such emotionally charged interactions with their siblings. It’s such a shock to go from seeing family once a year over the holidays to navigating our parents needs together daily.
Taking care of parents puts incredible stress on interactions between adult children. The fragile scaffolding of sibling relationships, so carefully constructed over a lifetime, often comes crashing down.