Tips for Splitting Caregiving Costs Among Siblings

Mature woman helping elderly mother with paperwork

Trying to come up with a reasonable financial plan for caregiving costs will be anything but easy. No doubt one of the first challenges will be getting everyone to agree on what is fair.

Ideally, you want to find a solution that everyone can live with and not cause any riffs or damage relationships. This will not be easy. Not everyone will agree as not everyone will have the same income.

Assess the Situation

The first step is to figure out exactly how much is going to be needed. Not everyone in your family will be able to contribute the same amount. Your siblings will have their own financial obligations.

It’s important to remember who you are talking about. These are your parents or loved ones and that should be the first concern. For those who can’t contribute financially, they can take on other roles.

In lieu of money, maybe they can drive your loved ones to appointments, for groceries, help clean and tend to the house, participate in food prep, and take care of other tasks that may be outside of the caregiver’s duties.

Check Your Loved One’s Finances

Make sure you find out what money is available from your loved ones. If your parents have a nest egg, investments, savings, or even insurance, this can help ease the burden on the rest of you.

If they are staying in their home then these funds can help to pay for a caregiver to come in. If they need to move into assisted living, then the home can be sold to cover the costs there.

If the people who need care are your parents, it is a natural assumption that any money would be coming to the children anyhow, so it all works out in the end. That way, the sole responsibility is not on the children.

Talk to Professionals

Talk to a financial advisor or lawyer to see what types of assistance there may be. If there is no money with your loved ones, then they may qualify for medical assistance for at home or assisted living.

Seeking outside advice might be a good decision, as you will likely have a hard time coming to a decision on your own. A mediator can also provide insight and help you all come to a final decision.

Sometimes, a reasonable voice will be able to provide some information and keep you and your siblings from fighting and hitting a standstill. You may not ever be able to settle things on your own.

Accept Your Sibling’s Decisions

Some of your siblings may refuse to pay anything. This is understandable if they are not financially stable. They may have lost their job, have a new baby, or simply struggle to make ends meet.

Don’t judge or belittle them. For those who can’t pay or who can only contribute a little, there are other ways they can make up for that shortfall. Ask them what they can do to help out and still feel like they are helping out.

Don’t put pressure on your siblings who are not able to help pay for the caregiving. Try to come to an agreement about what or how they can still participate.

Write it Down

Keep documentation of everything that is paid out. Have it accessible for all the siblings to see and make sure you list everything. This will let everyone know how they are contributing and where their money is going.

This should keep everyone happy and let them know that their contributions are going where they should be. Money issues are difficult for families, so keep everything transparent and above board.

With everything in writing that all can see, it will keep other siblings from fighting and making accusations about mishandling funds. It’s the best way to post receipts, funds going in and out, and anything left over.

Medical Alert System

You may want to consider a medical alert system. This will give all family peace of mind that your parents or loved ones have instant access to medical professionals should something happen.

All of their medical information is there along with contact information for you and all your siblings. It’s a small investment in caregiving that can saves lives.