My role as a family doctor gives me front row access to more family drama than I care to admit.
What to do with aging parents is one drama that most of us will face.
All the petty jealousy and unresolved sibling rivalries rear their ugly heads when mom takes ill and can no longer live alone.
I hear stuff like “since you where mom’s favorite, why don’t you take her in?” or “Linda makes more money than me so she should pick up the tab for dad’s care”.
End of life care provokes the most vitriol. One sibling wants everything done to keep mom alive while the other sibling wants to just keep mom comfortable with no heroic measures.
Motives are not always pure. A sibling who depends on mom’s social security checks might want to do everything humanly possible to keep the checks coming while another can’t wait to “pull the plug” to get her hands on her inheritance even faster.
Guess who is left out of the discussion? Mom.
The real question is what does mom or dad want at the end of their life? If you don’t know then go ahead and ask now while they have their marbles in place.
Don’t stop there, have them communicate their wishes to your siblings and other family members so when the time comes, everyone is clear on your parents’ wishes.
Have you had the end-of-life talk with your parents?