The 50-50 Rule—Sharing the Care for Your Parents

By on February 4, 2013
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When we think of love, family is one of the first things we hold sacred. In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.  Mother Teresa says, “Love begins by taking care of the closest ones—the ones at home”. The Bible even commands us to honor thy mother and father. Family caregiving is an honor, but can be very stressful.

The 50/50 Rule℠ is a public education program, developed by Home Instead Senior Care, to discuss how to extend care to your senior parents while dealing with the sensitive issues that can send brothers and sisters into turmoil. The 50 refers to the average age when siblings are caring for their loved ones, as well as the need for brothers and sisters to share in 50/50 plans of care.  At Home Instead Senior Care, we have watched resentment build when one sibling becomes responsible for the bulk of the caregiving. This can result in deterioration of relationships between family members.

If you are 50, have siblings, and are assisting with the care of seniors, it’s time to develop a plan that can help. Following are tips on how siblings can better share the plan.

  1. Talk and listen. Sit down with your siblings and parents and begin to list the resources that your family will need through this journey. What type of care would they like? Do they have a will? All of these issues are better handled before a crisis occurs.
  2. Research options. When you and your siblings have identified the types of services, interventions, or care options that your parents need, research organizations and resources that can help you meet those needs.
  3. Plan ahead. Will your Mom want to stay at home and age in place? Consider how those duties will be divided and if you will be supplementing care. Inheritance and financial planning are also better settled before a crisis.
  4. Be flexible. Consider a division of labor that takes into account each family member’s interests and skills, as well as their availability.
  5. Be honest. If you are the primary caregiver and it’s getting to be too much, make sure your siblings know that you need help. Discuss specific tasks that your siblings can help with, such as grocery shopping or running errands.

At the core of The 50-50 Rule℠ public education program is a family relationship and communication guide of real-life situations.  Regardless of their circumstances, most siblings do feel a responsibility to care for parents that is built from love. And that’s a great place to start. These sibling relationships will continue even after the parents are gone. If the care is shared with some planning, the extra effort will be well worth a loving relationship with your brothers and sisters. Call today for your free 50/50 guide at 601-926-1181 compliments of Home Instead Senior Care.