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Tag Archives: siblings

Keeping Your Seat at the Head of the Table


A visitor to the website recently posted a request for help. My friend, she explained, and her sister are locked in a power struggle over who will be the No. 1 caregiver for their mom. My friend has been helping and caring for her mother for years. Now that her mother’s end is near, her out-of-town sister has arrived, gunning to take over. How can I help my friend, she asked? When you’ve taken care ... Read More »

Ask Denise: How Do We Align the Family to Support Us and Mom?


(Editor’s Note: As you know, we celebrated the 17th birthday of last month. In looking back at how the website has changed over the years, I uncovered many past Ask Denise columns. I’ll re-run these columns regularly as I think you’ll enjoy them. This column originally appeared on on April 24, 2000.) Dear Denise, Two years ago my mother-in-law moved in with my wife and me. She is 74-years-old and frail; however, she ... Read More »

Ask Denise: What About My Sister?


(Editor’s Note: As you know, we celebrated the 17th birthday of earlier this month. In looking back at how the website has changed over the years, I uncovered many past Ask Denise columns. I’ll re-run these columns regularly as I think you’ll enjoy them. This column originally appeared on on April 3, 2000.) Dear Denise, My Mom (74 years old) has had M.S. for many years. For the last 20 years or so ... Read More »

Should I Call?


Sarah cared for her mother until her mother’s death three years ago. She now cares for her father. Her sister, Claire, lives 500 miles away. When their mom became ill, Sarah called Claire with regular updates until Claire said, “I don’t need so many updates.” Sarah, miffed beyond words, stopped calling. Now, Claire calls their father two or three times during the week but she doesn’t call Sarah. This makes Sarah crazy. She would like ... Read More »

Tips for Avoiding the Family Feud


How do you avoid a family feud during caregiving, an experience that seems to bring out the worst in the family? The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) asked its members–professionals who work with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues–that very question (How do you avoid a family feud during caregiving?). The top five tips from the surveyed geriatric care managers include: 1.    Give each family member ... Read More »

Competing for Caregiving


On Thursday morning, Anna Stookey joined me on Your Caregiving Journey. We discussed a topic suggested by a listener: What do we do when we find ourselves competing for caregiving with a family member? You can listen to our show via the player below. We discussed a scenario that could involve a mother and daughter-in-law struggling over their place in caring for their son and husband. Anna said that when we compete over tasks, we’re ... Read More »

Webinar Follow-Up: Which Statement Did You Create?


Yesterday, I led our free monthly webinar, “Communicating About Caregiving.” During the webinar, I walked you through several scenarios you’ll face during caregiving that require communication. Your emotions may make the communication just too difficult, which is why I helped you create drafts of statements. Creating statements now you can use when a health care professional asks for a decision or a family member acts badly means you can avoid feeling tongue-tied. (Miss the webinar? ... Read More »

Trish Shares Her Story on Huffington Post Live

Trish with her husband, Richard

I just finished watching and listening to Trish share her caregiving story during a segment on Huffington Post Live called Take Good Care. She was wonderful!! She disrupted, as we like to say. You can watch the segment below.   Related articles Now Available: Your Gifts Book ( Now Available: 2013 Calendar ( Your Marketability Because of Caregiving ( How Do You Organize the Medical Paperwork? ( A Caregiving Day in Photos ( When Work ... Read More »

Tell Us: Holiday Tips for the First-Time Family Caregiver


Last night, during our chat on Twitter, we talked about our plans for Thanksgiving and the traditions about our day we enjoy. As I read the comments shared between family caregivers during our chat, I thought about the first Thanksgiving you face as a family caregiver. The holidays often become that benchmark, that reminder of how much differs because of a caree’s disease or disability and your caregiving role. That first holiday season, when traditions ... Read More »

Hot Topics: Where’s the Help?


Last night, our panel of family caregivers convened for our Hot Topics show on Your Caregiving Journey. Bette, Jane, ejourneys and Richard shared their thoughts on this question: Why is it still hard to find help? You can listen to our show via the player below. (We had some difficulties with BlogTalkRadio last night, including the service cutting us off before the show ended.) One of the show’s inspiration was a recent article I wrote ... Read More »

Talking Money


This morning on Your Caregiving Journey, Ellen Rogin joined me for our monthly discussion about our relationship with money. You can listen to our show via the player below. Today, we focused on creating, and then communicating about, your caregiving budget. Often times, it’s the thought of talking to family members about the caregiving budget which can make the budget the loudest four-letter word in our day. We begin to just HATE the budget. Ellen ... Read More »

Tell Us: What’s the Worst Caregiving Advice You’ve Received?


I’m always amazed at the unsolicited advice others will offer me. I’m sure you can relate. So, I’m wondering: What’s the worst caregiving advice you’ve received? It could be a suggestion from a health care professional or a friend or even a complete stranger. It was probably well-meaning but yet it made you think: “Are you kidding me?” So, I’d love to know: What’s the worst caregiving advice you’ve received? Please share in our comments ... Read More »

Ask Denise: What Do I Do When I Will and My Sibling Won’t?


Dear Denise, First, I have to tell you what a wonderful community you have on Thank you for your work at creating and maintaining such a supportive environment. I don’t know what “answer” I’m looking for but know you will have an answer that will be perfect for me. My situation is that I care for a relative and we are a very small family. I handle the caregiving duties and, although my sibling ... Read More »

A Ramble


Fair warning, I’m about to ramble. Due to recent events it is a little hard to write coherently…. Memorial Day evening, my daughter asks to go to her Mom’s grave. I take her. Tuesday morning the nursing home called about a “walk-in” appointment for Dad with a Podiatrist. I was already on the highway with my daughter heading toward the site of my wife’s death (different location than her grave and much further away). It ... Read More »

Ask Denise: How Do I Protect My Mom’s Money from My Sister?


Hi Denise, I am so thankful I found your site. My mom is 87, lives nearby my husband and I. We have been managing her checkbook along with doctor visits, grocery, etc. etc. etc. The doctors tell us she may have early Alzheimer’s but she is unable to remember days of the week or checkbook but some other things she does well. All that being said: I have a sister five years older who’s married. ... Read More »

Your Greatest Caregiving Skill: You Know How


Last week, I presented my workshop, Healing the Family Rifts, for a group of social workers and family caregivers. During the presentation, the attendees shared their stories of rifts that leave them wounded. For the family caregivers in the audience, the wounds come because other family members just won’t help. Abby, who cares for her mom and also cared for dad, shared her story during our introductions. She’s one of six siblings but the only ... Read More »

The Journey Continues….


Home safe and sound and I can happily report that my garmet bag was right where I left it, in my bedroom, fully packed. I may have left my luggage at home but I have now have a nice new suit, dress shirt, dress shoes, socks, tie, tie clip and several casual articles of clothing. An important lesson learned, when you type the words “mall” “men’s clothing” and “chicago” into a search engine, you really need to be more specific about ... Read More »

Epilepsy: What is it and Can I Catch It? (No, You Can’t)


I really enjoyed Jane’s posts about Nicole’s conditions and thought I’d do something similar about epilepsy.  Plus, since Robert is doing his own educating about epilepsy, I was inspired to do a little educating about it too. First, the facts: What is it? Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures (it’s also sometimes called a “seizure disorder”). Seizures are caused by an abnormal surge of electrical activity affecting all or just a part of ... Read More »

Diving in to the Deep End


No sense burying the lead:  We have decided to move Robert into our house.  (Shh! It’s a secret right now so don’t tell New Home or Robert). Ack! Phew! Goodness Gracious! Wow! What am I doing?? Sigh . . . Moving Robert into our house has created a mini-explosion of emotion inside of my head and heart.  This was not a decision made lightly but I know this is the right decision. (I’m not telling ... Read More »

“Just” a Haircut?


Getting a haircut is not a huge deal for most people. I personally love to get my hair done because it’s an excuse to sit back and relax and have my scalp rubbed while amusing the stylist with the result of my feeble attempts to cut my bangs (“Trish, please come in for a quick bang trim between cuts! You don’t have to live with crooked bangs!”). If Robert doesn’t keep his curly locks cut, ... Read More »

Potato. Table. Green.


Potato.  Table.  Green. Remember those words (there’s a quiz later!).  The countdown is over!  Robert saw his fabulous neurologist with the awesome Canadian accent today and the results are in (although so are a lot more questions).  The MRI showed no stroke (yay!!) and actually indicated no change whatsoever since his MRI of two years ago (there goes my medical career).  The “large area of encephalomalacia” that sounded so concerning was due to his brain ... Read More »



It’s been a while since I posted but I was letting The Meeting simmer for a while. (These feelings probably also contributed to being a bit too harsh on my wayward son). After a week of reflection, I have decided it is in Robert’s best interest to move him. Again. You might be thinking there is just no pleasing me (which, if you ask New Home – or Old Home for that matter – that ... Read More »