You and your parent

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Entering a new stage in your relationship

Up to this point, your relationship with your parent may have been demarcated with you being the child and your parent making the decisions. However, at some point a reversal in the relationship occurs as your parent experiences increased frailty and dependency. This can be a tricky period for all involved as to how to navigate and adjust to changing roles.

A lifetime of experiences and emotions

In addition to a changing dynamic and role reversal, this is superimposed onto a lifetime of experiences between the child(ren) and their parent. Many of these experiences come with strong emotions, both positive and negative. Ultimately, it is critical that as you step in to help, that you make every effort to ensure that your parent maintains:

  • Autonomy ~ ability to make their own decisions
  • Independence ~ ability to do things themselves for as long as possible
  • Dignity ~ feel respected and valued
  • Wishes ~  are known and honored

Getting on the same page with your siblings

Often there is one child who takes on a greater share of the decision-making and caregiving tasks. It is imperative, however, that whoever takes on this primary role makes every effort to keep the siblings or other significant family members informed of the plans as they evolve. This can prevent confusion, disagreements and unnecessary stress.  

Who in the family should take charge?

There are multiple reasons for why one person takes on the primary caregiving role. These often have to do with proximity to the parent's home, opportunity / time to take on the role, and / or nature of relationship to the parent. 


However, ideally delegation of responsibilities occurs so that everything does not fall on one individual. Delegation can be done according to the individual strength's (emotional / supportive, skill set, etc.)

Taking the first step(s)

The most important decision for you at this point is when to start the conversation with your parent. This discussion must center around the wishes and needs of your parent and how you can meet these needs.


My role is to help you initiate the conversation with your parent and develop a working plan for your parent and those who are taking on a supportive role. (See INDIVIDUAL CONSULT tab in the navigation bar.)