Critter Corner: Talking to an Estranged Sibling about a Mother’s Care

 

Dear Ernie and Janette,

My mother has late-stage dementia and no Power of Attorney or Advance Medical Directive in place. Unfortunately, I am estranged from my sister and we haven’t spoken in years. We need to discuss plans for my mother’s long-term care, including Guardianship and Conservatorship. Do you have any recommendations on how we can talk again about this important subject?

Thanks,
Cybil Lings
Dear Cybil,

For siblings who have had little to do with each other, being thrown together to make touchy decisions about long-term care for parents could prove to be disastrous.

However, when it comes to planning for a parent with health or memory issues, tackling the challenge alone can be a burdensome task.  Estranged siblings need to find a way to come together and find common ground. It can be done, but sometimes it takes a great deal of effort on all sides.

In times when siblings need each other, how do you reach those who are at arm’s length?

  • Rebuilding the Bridge — Call on the phone and send a personal letter. As long as the topic is focused on parental need, it may be possible to gain the communication and assistance of your distanced sister.
  • Peaceful Discussions — Moving mom to a long-term care facility, or determining who should be Guardian and Conservator for her, is a taxing prospect and each of you may have a varying opinion. A mediator (in person or online), facilitator, arbitrator, or other type of collaborative professional can be especially effective in these cases, able to field concerns and emotional outbursts, to lay out all the details and help point to the most effective solution.
  • Finding a Professional  -Finding a collaborative professional who specializes in elder law is easy – one way is to go to www.mediate.com and click “Search Professionals.”  Select the type of collaborative professional you want and then, under “Select Type of Matter,” choose “Elder.”
  • Read More – Click here for an article dealing with this type of mediation.When you’re done with mediation, please call us at 703-691-1888 in Fairfax, 540-479-1345 in Fredericksburg, or 202-587-2797 in DC, to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation. African dwarf frogs Ernie and Jannette live at The Farr Law Firm, and they belong to Evan and Jeannie Farr. They reside on Jeannie’s desk, and love socializing with the other pets and greeting all of the clients that come to the firm.

About Ernie and Jannette:

African dwarf frogs Ernie and Jannette live at The Farr Law Firm, and they belong to Evan and Jeannie Farr. They reside on Jeannie’s desk, and love socializing with the other pets and greeting all of the clients that come to the firm.

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