Eldercare: How to Avoid Sibling Discord

by Janet Simpson Benvenuti

Recently I teamed up with geriatrician Dr. Leslie Kernisan to share how to minimize family conflicts that arise even in the closest of families when a parent or older relative becomes ill and needs support. Dr. Kernisan is a practicing geriatrician with an active interest in educating seniors and their adult children how to achieve Better Health While Aging.

Sibling conflicts arise from a lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities that change as a parent’s or older relative’s needs increase. Geographic distance, job demands, financial strain and even denial will elevate stress and tension. In this podcast, you’ll learn the key roles relatives play and the four actions that insure successful aging. Learn, too, how a quick sketch of a family tree helps identify and fill gaps in support long before assistance is needed.

Like you, I often listen to podcasts on walks or when commuting. I listened to our edited podcast on a rainy day while chopping vegetables to prepare beef barley soup. Here is the recipe and the podcast.

c Circle of Life Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.

Top 25 Songs for Aging Baby Boomers

Sixties albumby Jan Simpson Benvenuti

Recently, one of my hip brothers turned 69. Still handsome and fun-loving, his long history of being the life of the party is undiminished by age. He remains a hilarious story-teller, a talent inherited genetically and nurtured around the dinner table by my father, the youngest son of Scots-Irish immigrants. While the health benefits of positivity are espoused by researchers and clinicians alike, it remains the default in my family ethos, an ethos not fueled by alcohol consumption but the sheer joy of being alive and navigating life together.

Over the years as the youngest sibling – MUCH younger, I might add – I’ve observed my parents and now my siblings navigate health challenges with grace and laughter. In my family, humor matters. It is the glue that binds us, that helps us confront challenges with joy and celebrate successes with humility.

Yet this year, I struggled to find an appropriate birthday card for my brother who is transitioning toward elderhood. A snarky one about age would not do; he has a sensitive soul. Photos of half-naked women seemed inappropriate and ones with elderly men wouldn’t resonate for someone who remains eternally 35 in spirit.

Then, I found it at Hallmark: TOP 25 FAVORITE SONGS.

Here they are. If you don’t get the references, lucky you. If you do, enjoy the laughs along with us.

#25 Let’s Get Physicals
#24 Ain’t No Burrito Mild Enough
#23 I Wear My Bifocals at Night
#22 A Hard Day’s Nap
#21 Who Left the Milk Out
#20 The Long and Winding Nose Hair
#19 I Can’t See Clearly Now
#18 I Just Died in Your Arms (Call 911)
#17 Moany, Moany
#16 Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on the Bathroom Door
#15 I’m Bringing Saggy Back
#14 To All the Girls I’ve Disappointed Before
#13 I Want a New Drug Plan
#12 Hey, You, Get Off My Bumper
#11 Rock Me Gently, Dammit
#10 1-900 Is the Loneliest Number
#9 Achy Breaky Hip
#8 It’s Only Muzak (But I Like It)
#7 Groovy Kind of Love Handles
#6 I’ve Had the BM of My Life
#5 The Sound of Silent (But Deadly)
#4 Stair-Lift to Heaven
#3 Baby Got Backache
#2 Y.M.C. eh?
#1 Waking Up is Hard to Do.