Baby Boomers Face Midlife Sibling Misery

Are you a baby boomer facing midlife sibling issues? Do you have client’s who end up in your office with middle aged brother and sister dilemna? Baby boomers
in their fifties and sixties can find themselves thrown together with midlife siblings to help parents move, close up a family home, make hard decisions about putting Mom in a nursing home, or deal with splitting valuable family treasures like antique wardrobes and pricey paid-off houses.
Midlife brothers and sisters may struggle to distribute Mom’s or Dad’s not-so-priceless property, valuable only in the minds of the children who grew up in that family, like Mom’s chipped fairy plate collection that everyone covets.
Midlife ritual events can throw us together with siblings and reopen the chasm that swallowed us whole as kids. Weddings, funerals, or christenings are all occasions where siblings reunite. Many times brothers and sisters are asked to take ritual roles such as godfather or bridesmaid. This can boomerang us back to the past, where a brother or sister was a sworn enemy. If your sibling is still your foe, what do you say to these family requests? Do you turn them down, potentially hurting the next generation, perhaps a grandson who is being christened or a daughter who is getting married?
Estranged siblings can slam into us again in nightmare settings. A sudden parental medical crisis with aging parents may land families in the emergency room. To get to this chaotic scene, brothers and sisters may have jumped on planes all over the country to gather at their father’s or mother’s bedside. At this moment the ramparts supporting the sibling Berlin Wall need to come down. Usually as unexpected as a smack in the face, these critical family transitions demand that siblings line up as a team. Yet here is the rub. Many times those old rules that say, “Bobby always gets out of helping Mom, so here we go again” or “Mike has always been the winner, so even if I am a physician’s assistant, he’ll take charge of Dad’s care and push me out” sound far-fetched. This happens all the time. Find out more about Baby Boomers theit midlife sibling rules and how to move towards forgivesness with a middle aged sibling. .


About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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