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Why Sibling Agreements Are Beneficial for the Care of Elderly Parents
Pamela D. Wilson - Caregiver Subject Matter Expert Pamela D. Wilson - Caregiver Subject Matter Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Denver, CO
Thursday, February 1, 2024


Why Sibling Agreements Are Beneficial for the Care of Elderly Parents

The Caring Generation® – Episode 185, January 31, 2024. Sibling agreements can be critical for the care of elderly parents. Learn how to prevent and manage disagreements when siblings have different personalities and behavioral styles.

Caregiver Help: Why Sibling Agreements are Important for the Care of Elderly Parents

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Sibling agreements are critical for the care of elderly parents. If you have a family where all of your brothers and sisters, or if you are a parent—where all of your children get along- you are truly blessed. Families who get along well and agree about care for aging parents are more rare than you think.

Family Relationships are Complex

When I was a care manager, power of attorney, and guardian, families—adult children and elderly parents—would meet with me at my office and be embarrassed about not getting along. Some would wait until situations were out of their control. Many times, I heard them say, “I could handle it before, but now it’s really bad.”
Because family relationships are complex, it is critical to recognize the different personality styles involved in sibling relationships. When the topic of caring for elderly parents arises, creating sibling agreements before situations veer out of control can reduce stress and avoid situations where mending family relationships seems impossible.
Let’s begin by contrasting and comparing family and workplace relationships. Then we will look at personality styles and how these can come together to create sibling agreements for the care of elderly parents.

Family Caregiver Relationships

One of the challenges in families is that if there is no clear leader—usually one or both parents—who sets an example, then there may be no guidelines for behaviors or boundaries about acceptable behavior. Family relationships can be a stark contrast to workplace relationships, where there is an expectation that everyone works together as a team and gets along.
One challenge is that personalities or styles transcend all relationships. While a person can be on their best behavior for a while, eventually, something will happen to tip the scales, and the real personality will show up.
The key across all relationships is to be the best you that you can be. Realize that others will have different personalities and styles, and be flexible, accepting, and willing to compromise.

Workplace Relationships

As we know, not all workplace relationships are perfect. Much of this depends on the approach by upper management that flows down to leaders and managers in the company.
Toxic work or family situations can be damaging. You may have witnessed how one person with disruptive habits can destroy the morale of a team if others feel intimidated or lack conflict resolution skills. This is similar to children who are hesitant or fearful to stand up to the school bully..
The success of family relationships, workplace relationships, friendships, and others relates to growing emotional intelligence skills. So, what is emotional intelligence? Commonly abbreviated as EQ or EI, emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of, control, and express emotions in an empathetic and balanced manner.
It is also the ability to recognize and understand the emotions of people you come in contact with. In a sense, it’s noticing the small things that make a big difference in relationships.

People who are emotionally intelligent:

  • Do not hold grudges
  • Apologize
  • Forgive others
  • Embrace kindness
  • Focus on problem-solving
  • Do not blame others
Life is far from perfect. So why does getting along seem more difficult in family relationships than in workplace relationships?

Relationship Trauma and Baggage

The answer is baggage and trauma. Not all children are brought up in loving households with parents who possess emotional intelligence. Childhood abuse can result in lifelong trauma that has a formal name called adverse childhood experiences or ACES that individuals can carry with them for a lifetime if not identified and managed.
Baggage, on the other hand, is the bumps and bruises we experience from relationships that didn’t work out the way we expected, stress, and other difficulties that continue to take up space in our minds. Many of these issues remain unresolved and can be replayed in the mind over and over again.
When these memories replay, they can become larger than life and result in thoughts of trauma. One unpleasant experience can remove the desire to repeat the experience. An example of this could be having a painful experience with a dentist. The result is that further dental work or regular cleanings are postponed, unintentionally creating the need for more dental care.
Reliving trauma and baggage are some of the reasons that relationships—family, workplace, friendships, partners or spouses, child-parent—can be challenging if there is no system to resolve conflict or there are poor social or communication skills.

Four Behavioral Styles

Let’s look at four behavioral styles and how these can support creating sibling agreements that are not personally motivated but motivated to be in the best interest of elderly parents. Let’s first define the best interest so we understand the goal of a sibling agreement.
In simple terms, the best interest in terms of caring for elderly parents means doing the best thing or taking the right action for a person given the current circumstances.
Best interest is objectively looking at the pros and the cons and combining this list with the wishes of the person under consideration. This means that if you are the caregiver, you put aside what you want, your motives, and your interests, and favor logic instead of emotion—which, as we know, can be very difficult in caregiving situations.
So let’s look at how four different styles might approach relationships and care for elderly parents. As you hear these, be thoughtful about identifying your style or combination of styles.
By doing so, you may be able to identify the style of your siblings or elderly parents. Doing this will allow you to see why you might have a difference of opinion or look at situations very differently.
Evaluating styles can also help you identify gaps where you may need a little more patience or understanding or to be more thoughtful about situations instead of spontaneous.


The first style involved in creating sibling agreements is driving, sometimes called “D.”
  • People with driving personalities can be decisive, move at a fast pace, work on timelines and deadlines, actions and results, and get things done.
These can be good qualities.
  • Just the opposite, D’s can be very controlling and may not want to listen to others who may have a different style.
So, if you are the only D in your family, you might work on slowing down, listening, not speaking, asking questions to understand, and allowing others to do things their way as long as there is a positive outcome.


The second style involved in creating sibling agreements is amiable.
  • Amiables are generally agreeable, informal, and easygoing, and they show their feelings.
  • They focus on relationships and bring people together.
Having an amiable person in your life can be a blessing.
  • The downside to amiable people is that they want to be liked and may focus more on security than on considering any type of change.
  • So, rather than striking out on their own or initiating projects, they may be hesitant or wait for others to take charge.
  • They can also remain in stressful or unpleasant situations longer than most people because they don’t want to make waves.
So, if you are the amiable type, make sure to express your needs so that you don’t feel taken advantage of by siblings and others. Realize that change can be positive.


The third type of style beneficial for sibling agreements is the expressive person.
  • Expressive people are enthusiastic, and they can be motivating.
  • They are chatty and are likely to talk more than listen. It may be hard to get a word in with an expressive person.
  • On the other hand, they can be flighty and overboard emotionally. You may not be sure where they stand at any given moment on an issue because this can change. Their behavior may not be consistent.
  • They also seek personal approval and may want to please others, which can be to their detriment or cause harm to themselves in various ways.
So if you are expressive, spend more time with people who are the analyst type, and be open to considering data and facts. Once you commit to a decision, stick with it. And similar to the amiable personality, do not go so far in helping others that you lose your self-identity.


Last but not least, the fourth style to support sibling agreements is the analyst.
  • Analyzers rely on having information and data.
  • They prefer logic over emotion, so they may really clash with an expressive person who prefers emotion over logic.
  • Analysis may be reserved in nature, so not outgoing, and may not want to share information with others.
  • On the other hand, they can also appear cold and detached and may have a need to be right.
So, if you are an analyst, spend more time with expressive personalities to understand their emotions. Do your best to find a middle ground between logic and emotion.
All four of these types have positive aspects for maintaining relationships in families or in the workplace. Combined, they can result in successful sibling agreements.

Sibling Agreements

In a perfect world, elderly parents work with their children to create agreements for their care. This can include sibling agreements that can be challenging if elderly parents assign roles to their children instead of asking or having conversations about participation.
Sometimes assignments from parents can happen automatically over time. I’ll share an example: in my family, two of my siblings were handy – they could repair and fix anything and enjoyed building things. So, my parents turned to them when home repairs were needed. My other sister was a nurturer and was very patient, so she was relied upon for projects that took a lot of time.

Components of sibling agreements can contain a list of items:

  • Who will be the power of attorney for medical and financial
  • Will siblings be paid to do things for parents, or is there an expectation to do it because it’s the right thing?
  • Where do parents want to live, in their home or with any of their children?
  • From an overall perspective, who will pay for care—the parents, or is there an expectation that children who make a good income will pay for care?
  • When conflict occurs, what is the process to deal with it? Will there be family meetings, lists of pros and cons etc.
Then, probably the most important aspect of all, which should be a standard ground rule for communication,
  • No one talks about another person who is not present.
When you talk about a person who is not present, this is called triangulation. Triangulation pits one person against another. Nothing good ever comes of triangulation.
So if today you talk about other people “behind their back.” Stop. Learn to speak directly to people with whom you have concerns. Learn to resolve conflict, and you will improve your emotional intelligence and be a positive contributor to sibling agreements to care for aging parents.
Also, realize that not all siblings may want to be involved in the care of parents. Some individuals are not good caregivers. Do the best that you can, and above all, remember that the intention is good care for a loved one, separate from personal motivations or interests. 

Looking For Help Caring for Elderly Parents? Find the Information, Including Step-by-Step Processes, in Pamela’s Online Program.

©2024 Pamela D. Wilson All Rights Reserved
The post Why Sibling Agreements Are Beneficial for the Care of Elderly Parents appeared first on Pamela D Wilson | The Caring Generation.

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Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA, is an international caregiver subject matter expert, advocate, speaker, and consultant. With more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, fiduciary, and care manager in the fields of caregiving, health, and aging, she delivers one-of-a-kind support for family caregivers and aging adults.

Pamela may be reached at +1 303-810-1816 or through her website.


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Name: Pamela Wilson
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Group: Pamela D. Wilson, Inc.
Dateline: Golden, CO United States
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