Unfortunately, there are some situations in which a sibling may try to prevent you from seeing an elderly parent. If this is happening to you, it is important to understand your rights and take action to ensure that you are able to see your parent and play a role in their care.
There are many reasons why one sibling may prevent another from seeing their elderly parent.
- A sibling rivalry that has been unresolved.
- Jealousy that they have had to bear the full-time caregiver role, providing financial support, emotional support, grocery shopping trips, and doctor appointments.
- Disagreements about who can best take care of their elderly parents.
If your sibling is preventing you from seeing your elderly parent, the best way to begin is to set up a family meeting and try to talk to them about the situation.
It is possible that there is a misunderstanding or that your adult siblings are acting out of concern for your parent’s well-being.
If you are unable to come to an agreement, you may need to seek some legal advice from an elder law attorney.
But if you have an elderly parent who is in need of care, it is important for you and your siblings to try to set aside your differences and work together to provide the best care for the older adults you are caring for.
My Sister Won’t Let Me See My Dying Mother
It’s not uncommon for siblings to have different views on how they should care for their elderly parents.
Some of the most heated domestic disputes happen between family members when they can’t agree on how to care for their elderly parents.
We recently received an email from someone who was being denied seeing her own mother (who was dying) by her sister. The letter read…
My sister is the primary family caregiver for our mother, who is dying of cancer. I live in another state, and I want to be able to see my mother before she passes away. My sister won’t let me see her.
My mother and I have had a difficult relationship for many years, but I still love her and I want to be able to say goodbye. Is there anything I can do?
I understand that my sister is worried about our mother’s condition and doesn’t want me to upset her. However, I’m her daughter too and I feel that I should be able to say goodbye to her before she dies.
Is there anything I can do to convince my sister to let me see our mother? Or am I at her mercy when it comes to this decision?
Our answer was as follows…
If your sister has power of attorney and your mother suffers from cognitive impairment of some kind and is unable to communicate her wishes, then your sister may be within her rights to deny you access.
We recommend that the best course of action is for you to speak to an elderly law attorney about your legal rights. State laws on this matter differ from state to state.
However, if your mother is able to express her own wishes, and she wants to see you, then she should be respected regardless of your sister’s feelings.
It’s understandable that you would want to see your mother before she passes away. If your sister has been the primary caretaker, she should know what is best for your mother.
In this case, it may be very helpful to use a third-party mediator such as a counselor or social worker.
If you try to go against your sister’s wishes, it could upset your mother and cause unnecessary stress.
Instead, try reaching out to your sister and see if she would be willing to let you talk to your mother over the phone or through video chat.
That way, you can still have some type of communication with her without having to be in the same room.
Hopefully, your sister is just trying to protect your mother and her own relationship with her. So try to be understanding and patient.
Hopefully, with time, she will be willing to let you see your mother again.
But, on the other hand, if you suspect that your sister is keeping you away from your mother for malicious reasons or you suspect elder abuse, then you may want to contact an attorney or adult protective services in your area.
They can help investigate the situation and see if there is any undue influence being exerted on your mother.
No matter what, try to stay calm and respectful. These types of situations can be very emotional and difficult to navigate.
But hopefully, with time and patience, you will be able to see your mother again.
Can A Sibling Prevent Access To A Parent?
Is there any legal ground where a sibling can use to keep another away from an elderly parent? The answer may surprise you.
While it’s certainly not the ideal situation, there are unfortunately many cases where siblings find themselves pitted against each other when it comes to making decisions about their aging parents’ care.
It’s a difficult and often emotional situation, but it’s important to understand the legalities involved so that you can make the best decisions for your family.
It comes down to the type of power of attorney that a sibling has.
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to make decisions on your parent’s behalf when they are no longer able.
It also includes rights like allocating funds and determining health care decisions, among others.
An agent under a financial power of attorney should not have the right to bar a sibling from seeing their parent. A medical power of attorney may give the agent the right to prevent access to a parent if the agent believes the visit would be detrimental to the parent’s health.jdsupra.com
If there is no power of attorney, the likelihood that one has the legal power to deny visitations is very slim.
Even if there is a disagreement about caregiving arrangements, all siblings should have an equal right to visit and spend time with their parent.
A Summary Of The Types Of Power Of Attorney
Durable power of attorney – is a document that allows one person (the agent) to act on behalf another in certain legal matters.
The scope and application of this type varies by state but may include buying property, handling bank transactions or filing taxes for them; managing government benefits like disability insurance plans with Social Security Administration representatives–to name just a few examples!
Limited power of attorney – specifies in detail what types of transactions and/or decisions the agent can make.
Medical power of attorney – (aka advanced directive) gives the agent power of making decisions about medical care issues on behalf of the person they are representing.
Financial power of attorney – gives the agent the power to manage their senior parent’s financial matters.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be conflict.
If one sibling is the primary caregiver, they may feel like they are shouldering the lion’s share of the responsibility and resentful of the other siblings who don’t live nearby or who aren’t as involved.
It’s important to communicate openly and honestly with all siblings about your parent’s care. If there are concerns, try to work together to address them.
If you can’t come to an agreement, you may need to seek outside support, such as family counseling.
In some cases, a sibling may be prevented from seeing an elderly parent if there is evidence of abuse or neglect.
If you have concerns about your sibling’s treatment of your parent, you can contact Adult Protective Services in your state.
Can A Sibling Prevent You From Seeing An Elderly Parent In A Nursing Home?
If you have an elderly parent who is in a nursing home, you may wonder if a sibling can prevent you from seeing them.
The answer to this question depends on the situation.
- If your parent has appointed your sibling as their legal guardian, then they may have the authority to prevent visitations if your parent is incapacitated.
- However, if your parent has not appointed a legal guardian, then you should be able to visit your parent unless there is a court order preventing you from doing so.
A guardian does have the power to deny visitation of a minor or incapacitated adult if they feel the interaction could be psychologically, financially or physically harmful to the ward.brownandcrona.com
If you are fighting for your right to visit with your elderly parent, we recommend that you speak to an elder law attorney.
What Is Sibling Alienation?
The term sibling alienation is not often used but it is a real and serious problem that can have a lasting effect on family relationships.
Sibling alienation occurs when one adult sibling wants to push aside another. While sibling alienation can occur at any point, one sibling may be especially tempted to alienate another in order to gain control of care-taking or inheritance outcomes with aging parents.psychologytoday.com
This can happen for many reasons, such as jealousy, resentment, or even something that happened in childhood that has never been resolved.
Sibling alienation can be very harmful to both parties involved and can cause lasting damage to their relationship.
If you are feeling alienated from your sibling, it is important to reach out and try to communicate with them.
If they are unwilling to talk or interact with you, there may be nothing you can do to change their behavior.
However, it is important to try to repair the relationship if possible.
What Can You Do If Your Sibling Is Alienating You From Your Parents?
If your sibling is preventing you from seeing your parents, there are a few things you can do.
- Try to talk to your sibling and see if they are willing to work on the relationship. If they are not, you may need to involve other family members or even legal counsel.
- If there is a family friend that can intervene and help, certainly reach out to him or her for help.
- You might try talking to your parents about what’s going on and see if they’re willing to mediate a conversation between you and your sibling.
- Stay in close communication with your parents. Let them know that you love them and want to see them.
- If nothing else seems to be working, you can always consult with a therapist or counselor who can help you navigate this difficult situation.
- Be prepared to take legal action if necessary. This may include filing for a restraining order or seeking custody of your parents if they are unable to care for themselves.
Family relationships are complicated, and it’s not uncommon for siblings to compete for their parents’ attention and love.
If you feel like your sibling is intentionally trying to alienate you from your parents, it can be difficult to know how to respond.
One thing you want to try to do is to spend time with your parents when your sibling is not around.
You want to try to maintain a strong relationship with them.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Sibling Alienation?
If you’re concerned that your sibling is alienating you from your elderly parents, there are several warning signs to look out for:
- Your parent suddenly stops talking to you or returning your calls.
- Your parent starts making negative comments about you to other family members or friends.
- Your parent begins to withdraw from activities they used to enjoy with you.
- Your parent starts showing favoritism towards your sibling.
- Your parent starts making unreasonable demands on you or tries to control your relationship with them.
- You feel like your parent is being manipulated by your sibling.
- Your parent refuses to see you or spend time with you.
- Your parent starts making plans for their future that don’t include you.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to take action to try and improve the situation.
This may mean talking to your sibling to see what’s going on and why they’re behaving this way, or it could involve seeking professional help to mediate the situation.
It’s also important to keep communication open with your parent and let them know that you’re there for them, no matter what.
If you’re in a situation where you feel like you’re being prevented from seeing or spending time with an elderly parent, it’s important to seek help.
There are many resources available to help you, including adult protective services, elder law attorneys, and support groups.
These can all provide you with information and guidance on what to do next.
How To Reconnect With A Sibling After Being Alienated?
Being alienated from a sibling is never easy, but it’s important to remember that you can always reconnect. Here are a few tips on how to go about doing just that:
1. Start by reaching out and express your desire to reconnect. This can be done in person, over the phone, or even through a letter or email.
The important thing is to express your feelings and let your sibling know that you want to mend things between you.
2. Try to find common ground. What are some things that you both enjoy or have in common? This can be anything from a shared hobby to simply having the same taste in music.
Taking the time to find things that connect you can help rebuild your relationship.
3. Don’t be afraid to apologize. If you’re the one who caused the alienation, owning up to your mistakes is an important step in reconciling with your sibling.
Even if you didn’t do anything wrong, apologizing can show that you’re willing to put the past behind you and move forward together.
4. Make an effort to spend time together. This can be difficult if you live far apart, but it’s important to try to connect on a regular basis, even if it’s just through phone calls or video chats.
5. Seek professional help. If you’ve tried to mend things on your own but haven’t been successful, consider seeking counseling or therapy to help you work through the issues with your sibling.
By working with a professional, you can learn how to communicate more effectively and find ways to resolve your differences.
There are many issues that adult children will face when caring for their elderly parents. One of the most difficult can be dealing with disagreements with siblings.
Old rivalries and family dynamics play a big part in these disagreements, and can often make them seem insurmountable.
But with help from third party resources such as a geriatric care manager, elder care attorney and/or a counselor or social worker, you and your family can come to some resolution for the sake of your senior parent’s best interests.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most important thing to remember when dealing with a sibling disagreement?
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Sibling disagreements are common among families caring for elderly parents, and there are resources available to help you work through them.
Why do siblings disagree about caregiving?
There are many reasons why siblings might disagree about caregiving. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of differing opinions about what is best for the parent. Other times, it may be a result of different relationships with the parent or different levels of involvement in the parent’s life.
What type of elder abuse is most common?
Sibling disagreements about caregiving can also be a result of elder abuse. Elder abuse is any type of mistreatment that causes harm or loss to an older adult. It can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse.
What motivates sibling alienation?
There are many possible motivations for sibling alienation, including jealousy, resentment, and a desire to gain control over the parent’s assets. In some cases, the motivation may be simply to make the other siblings feel guilty or responsible for the parent’s care. Sibling alienation can also be a form of emotional abuse.
What are the effects of sibling alienation on elderly parents?
Elderly parents who are victims of sibling alienation can suffer from a variety of effects, including physical and emotional abuse. They may also be isolated from friends and family and have their assets exploited. In some cases, elder abuse can even lead to death. If you suspect that your elderly parent is being alienated by a sibling, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional.