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Sharing the Care Plans

Sharing the care plans

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As adults, you and your siblings might not feel you have much to talk about anymore. But whether you're still close or if you've grown apart, you still have at least one common bond. That's the planning for care of your elderly mom and dad.

No matter what your family relationships are like, an aging care plan represents unchartered waters for most families. Who takes care of Mom and Dad, and where? Do you seek outside support or try to do it all yourselves? What do you do when you can't agree or when someone feels left out? Who takes charge when your parent is ill or even dying?

The 50-50 Rule® program offers strategies for overcoming sibling differences to help families provide the best care for elderly parents.

The 50-50 Rule® refers to the average age (50) when siblings are caring for their parents as well as the need for brothers and sisters to share in the plans for care 50-50. Research conducted for the Home Instead® network reveals that an inability to work together often leads to one sibling becoming responsible for the bulk of caregiving in 43 percent of U.S. families and 41 percent of Canadian families. And that can result in the deterioration of relationships with brothers and sisters.

At the core of the 50-50 Rule® public education program is a family relationship and communication guide of real-life situations that features practical advice from the Home Instead network and sibling relationships expert, Ingrid Connidis, Ph.D., of the University of Western Ontario.

"Like all relationships, siblings have a history," Connidis noted. "Whatever happened in the past influences what happens in the present. Regardless of their circumstances, most siblings do feel a responsibility to care for parents that is built from love. And that's a good place to start—optimistically and assuming the best."

Research suggests that siblings don't want to harm their relationships with each other. That's why the 50-50 Rule® program will help facilitate communication in relationships with brothers and sisters who want to make the most of their parents' senior years and their own caregiving journey.

Please download the guide: 50/50 Rule® Brochure (PDF 950K).

Review these topics to learn more about how to work better with your brothers and sisters.

Last revised: December 22, 2010

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. September 10, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Posted by bob lombardi

    I have been living with mom and dad for 3years mom does dialysis 3x a wknd. Dad has dementia my sister has power of attorney visits for 10 minutes most days and takes them to lunch on Sundays. I want to have 50/50. Power of attorney my sister. Parents are reluctant. They don't drive I have to do everything for them groceries. Cook meals medications doc app. Hair salons. Her feet and nails I'm starting. To resent my positiown. Who.


  2. January 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Posted by Helen

    My younger sister has been very involved over my aging mother's care for the past few years. If I have any questions, and often do, my sister gets upset because it sounds to her like I don't trust her. I want to be involved even though I live 4 hours away. I am the executor of her will and her power of attorney so I want and need to stay involved. Now the sister and her girlfriend are planning to move in with Mom but Mom doesn't need 24x7 care now. One of the things I worry about is that my sister is domineering and is not allowing my mother to make decisions that she can still make. I fear that without use, my mother will lose her brain. The sister is abusive to her girlfriend and I also fear that when she takes control over my mother's house, that she'll become abusive to Mom too. I sure don't like the way she speaks to my mother now and it'll be worse after they move in. I would gladly take my mother to my house for periods of time...but I know Mom feels better and safer at her home. I'm looking for any guidance at all.


  3. February 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Posted by DTK

    You address the 50/50 rule, but what happens when one sibling takes total control, and the sibling who is willing to help is demoted to the receiver of information. The one who is nudged out appears to be a "do nothing", and the one who takes control looks like the white knight. The one who is willing and able to help backs off and looks like a schlep to the outside world. Things are not always black and white.


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