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Resolving Sibling Relationship Issues While Caring for Parents

Touchy Sibling Communication About Alzheimer’s May Benefit from Professional Input

WetdryDear Carol: My mom is in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s so she needs gentle reminders to accomplish things, as well as compassion when her view of reality is off track. I’ve learned a lot from the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as from reading your work and that of others, about how we should interact with people like Mom. She lives in a nursing home and the staff is excellent with her, so I learn from them, too. When my siblings visit, they boss mom around and contradict her all the time, yet they won’t listen to me when I try to explain how to interact with her. It’s depressing for me to watch them do this, and distressing enough for Mom that she deteriorates when they are here. They do love her and say that they’ll try to do better, but as soon as they come back it starts all over. How do I get through to them that they are hurting her? RT

Read full column on Inforum about communicating with siblings when they don't understand:

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Comments

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You're right, Claire. I suggested the social worker but other staff members could also be helpful. From the sound of the letter, they are all very good. Thanks for adding your comment!
Carol

I would have a chat with the staff. Ask them to talk to your siblings, get them to explain the best ways to interact/act when your mum does certain things.
It may not feel like your telling them what to do if the staff are helpful they should be happy to do this. Sometimes it's easier to accept and take on if an outside person suggests it.

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