We often don’t associate sibling rivalry or dysfunctional families with aging. The fact is…this is one of the issues that social workers, chaplains and nurses deal with daily in long term care settings. Sisters who disagree about where to place mom, sons and fathers who have very different ideas about the care decisions for their mother/wife whom they both love, the oldest brother who seldom visits his parents but flies into town and wants to direct and control the family members who are dealing with the issues of the aging parent on a daily basis….these are just a few of the “family problems” that are addressed every day, in every facility and private homes across the nation.
After reading “They’re Your Parents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy” (Random House, 2010) I knew that I was not alone in dealing with this situation. The author, Francine Russo, generously shared her own walk with an aging parent and unresolved sibling issues. This book resonated with me regarding my own family as well as the many families I have served over the years as a nurse. Nurses don’t receive very much training (if any at all) in dealing with these terribly difficult situations.
I was so moved by her compassion and empathy that I wanted to meet this author. I felt like I already knew her and I could just tell (without ever hearing her speak) that she would be a wonderful presenter, and she was. Francine joined us at a conference on aging hosted by the Elizabeth McGown Training Institute at Morningside Ministries. Her presentation was as good as her book. I am so grateful that we recorded the event and it is available for viewing.
mmLearn.org is committed to caring for caregivers, and part of caring for the caregivers is to provide ways to improve your caregiving skills, increase your knowledge in areas that may be new to you and offer information that could make caregiving less stressful. And we all know that sibling rivalry doesn't disappear just because you are no longer children and that can be stressful for everyone. Francine Russo's presentation helps you to understand the sibling dynamics involved when caring for aging parents. Are you dealing with the issue of siblings and aging parents? If so, do yourself a favor and watch Francine Russo's presentation today to make for a better tomorrow - because siblings really can survive their parent's aging without driving each other crazy!
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