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Download the The 50-50 Rule® Brochure

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The 50/50 guide is designed to help adult siblings and their aging parents deal with those sensitive situations that arise among brothers and sisters as their parents age and need assistance.

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Helping Siblings Overcome Family Conflict While Caring for Aging Parents

This guide is designed to help adult siblings and their aging parents deal with those sensitive situations that arise among brothers and sisters as their parents age and need assistance. The downloadable guide covers a variety of sibling caregiving topics such as: How do you divide workload with your sister? What's the best way to build teamwork with your brothers? How can you reach agreement as a family on important topics to avoid family conflict?

Download the guide: The 50-50 Rule® brochure (PDF format—950KB)

Last revised: February 3, 2011

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. April 9, 2020 at 12:05 am | Posted by Christina

    I am the caregiver for my 86 yr old Mom. I have 1 sister and 4 brothers whom all work and/ or who have children. I also am disabled due to mental illness. I have been told repeatedly that I need to get a job/ move out..clean the whole house abd have been told I have to pay room and all the cooking cleaning etc..take care of my 16 yr old dog and am responsible for buying all household articles. My eldest brother convinced my Mom to give our/ her home to my twin brothers for free. My eldest brother also said its " in process" to get me kicked out of the home! Any advice would be appreciated!


  2. January 17, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Posted by Dorothy

    My mom has 3 daughters and two sons. She lives with the middle sister and her husband, and refuses to allow mom to spend time away from her house with the rest of us, wherein the other two girls are single and are more than willing and able to assist with mom, but she will not let us. We have to visit our mom like visitors instead of children. She has brainwashed my mom from the start. However, my mom is now begging and crying to spend more time with us and the sister will not allow it. She works same as I, and have sitters come sit with my mom, but insist that we leave when she goes to work. I have repeatedly protested and offer to spend time with my mom, but she acts like she thinks we are going to run off with her. This is very upsetting to my other sister and I. I'm at the point that I'm ready to get the law involved. Most people fuss about siblings not wanting to help, but she is not willing to share our mom. She acts like she is a only child and the rest of us are visitors. We can only see our mom when she is not busy or not working. She should be happy to get a break and let us take our mom sometime, but she not. But she leaves her with strangers to go to work and where ever, when she should let us spend that time with our mom. I'm at my wits end.


  3. February 3, 2014 at 2:33 am | Posted by gloria

    My sister took all our Mom's money then kicked her out of the home she saved from fore closer. I had to have someone ride with Mom across the us to my home because Mom though. she could do it alone after a stroke. My sister has somehow turned my Mom's sister against me and has spread lies about what has really happened throughout my Moms side of the family. While I have the entire burden of her care and monetary support of Mom and to top it off my sister is still Mom's favorite.


  4. November 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Posted by Carol

    Jackie, You hit the nail on the head. My mother has five children but it seems only one (me) has a mother. One of my sisters actually said to me, "Thanks Carol, for taking care of Mom so I don't have to." What in the world is with siblings who don't understand that it IS their job - everyone's job - to take care of the parents? They don't get to choose whether or not to be on the team. They only get to choose whether or not to be a good teammate. Never in a million years, not in my wildest dreams would I have expected my four sisters to stand back and let me do it all. They have NO idea - they will NEVER understand - everything I am doing for OUR mother. And then they get upset because I "resent" their decision. Well, if were on an athletic team and you left me standing on the field by myself, or if we were a team working on a project at a business and you left me to do the entire project, everyone would understand why I resent my teammates. And we were raised by phenomenal, great, giving, caring, compassionate parents! I cannot imagine what kind of thinking and rationalization is going on my selfish sisters' minds.


    • August 1, 2018 at 9:41 am | Posted by Mollie Edwards

      The only good news I have for you is that you are not alone. I am a licensed insurance broker specializing in Seniors with their Medicare and Final Expense choices and your scenario is extremely typical, sad to say. I wish I had the answer for you but I know of only 2 families out of hundreds that I’ve worked with who had a healthy attitude towards sharing the responsibility of taking care of their loved ones. In my family’s case, the fueds between my mother and her brother and my father and his brothers when given the inevitable task of taking care of my grandparents seemed to ultimately stem from old unresolved “wounds” from their childhoods. As a grandchild, I just wanted the best for these sweet people, but their children turned out to be monsters. It’s hard to believe they came from these wonderful upbringings, only to show such ugliness that surely didn’t come from their parents and how they were raised. The saddest part is that they, my grandparents, at the end of their lives had to witness this behavior by their children. It was their last memory of what I’m sure they lived out their life hoping to leave behind a legacy of well behaved citizens as part of their “footprint” on the earth and instead had to experience what must have been such a let down. You could just see them saying “Where did we go wrong?”


  5. November 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Posted by Brigitte Zanini

    Ditto. As I understand it, there are 3 reasons why siblings do not support - money, time and distance. How sad for our parents.


  6. November 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Posted by Bernice Wilson O'Roark

    As someone who spent her professional life in home care and hospice for seniors, I am now retired (age 74) and often serve as family friend/respite caregiver. I try to bridge the communication gap between elder (whom I understand better as I age), middle-age children and health system. I very highly recommend the book "How to Say It to Seniors", as kids often get it wrong and this causes a lot of trouble. Also, for my caregiver friends I recommend "My Mother, Your Mother" to show how health care needs to change and how we can cope until it does. Keep helping!


  7. April 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Posted by jackie printzenhoff

    how do you get your other siblings to understand its not just your job. We built an apartment on the back of our home for my mother. I only get glad your doing it sis i couldn't. its been going on for 12 years.


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