Eldest sibling worries about eldercare


Dear Amy: I have three siblings. I am the oldest — 10 years older than my next sibling.

My wife and I are now in our mid-70s. We are retired and live on Social Security, her modest teacher’s pension, and a six-figure nest egg.

Two of my siblings have large incomes and considerable real-estate holdings. Another brother and his wife have professional jobs.

All the grandchildren in the family are now adults and on their own.

The controversy involves my 100-year-old mother, who lives in the East near my siblings in an expensive care facility. We live in another part of the country.

My siblings insist that we share the cost in equal measure.

We have offered to care for my mother in our home at no cost to them, but they have rejected the offer.

I believe that contributions should be based on individual circumstances and ability to pay. The disagreement has caused a rift among us. Is there a solution here?

— Stuck in Stalemate

Dear Stuck: Moving your 100-year-old mother to another part of the country to live in your home does not seem like a viable option for anyone, especially her. If she is happy and doing well where she is, then she should stay there.

I agree with you that siblings should contribute to an elder’s care according to their circumstances and ability to pay. When your siblings chose to move your mother into this expensive home, you should have made it clear at the outset that this was unaffordable for you.


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