csavage Asked October 2009

My sister is upset because my brother appointed me his guardian. How can I encourage a positive relationship between my sister and brother?

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I have been appointed as guardian for my elderly, disabled brother who resides in a nursing home, in WA. Prior to the appointment, my sister was taking him out for family time each week. She now is telling my brother she can't because she doesn't want to get in trouble with me or be liable. To complicate matters she's angry that guardianship was appointed as she was against it and felt there was no need. Documentation and determination in the case showed otherwise. She now wants nothing to do with me. How can I advocate to encourage positive relationships regarding my brother in this case. I live in MT, the sister and brother live in WA.

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Oct 2009
It's sad that she is taking this out on your brother. You may want to try family counseling or mediation if she will do it. If she absolutely refuses, then please try to find a friend of his or someone who can take him out regularly. You may want to read this article: https://www.agingcare.com/134376

Take care,
Carol
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I just followed Carol's suggestion to the above-mentioned link. It is a very well-written article. Thanks, Carol; you've gathered much wisdom over the years of your Caregiving experiences.

As Guardian for both my parents, and my husband for his dad, we have found that our attentions need to focus on what is in the best interest of our loved one's welfare. Even they don't always agree with our decisions. I have to be reminded, and remind myself, that Guardianship is not granted by the courts flippantly. They, too (should) have the best interests of the individual in mind. There are many threads here that speak to family difficulties, and differences of opinions amongst family members. Caregiving is not easy, and can be quite complicated when everyone is not on the same page. In matters of disagreement, or differing ideas, I remember that one person has to make a decision, not a consensus. I seek godly counsel, pray, then act on my firm convictions. Am I always right, and are all my decisions perfectly correct? Nope. But we're all just doing the best we can. I do ask my sister's opinion, but in the end, have to stand by my decisions, right or wrong, as the responsibility lies with me, not her. Fortunately, we are in agreement most of the time. Someone has to lead, and that can't go in two directions. In our case, the firstborn does it. If my mom or sister, dad or FIL disagree, I try to make peace, consider their feelings, value their input, but act in a matter that is best for the individual's need at the moment. My decisions aren't always popular, but the court has given only one person authority, for a reason. I figure, as long as we're not abusing our "power," and are trying to do what's right, that is it's own reward, whether others agree or not.
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csavage Oct 2009
Gosh, your comments have been helpful. They have helped me to process the situation. Unfortunately it's at the point where the sister would not accept mediation, counseling, etc... I'm simply going to write her a personal note, simple, to the point re; how her relationship with the brother is valued and encouraged and that the Guardianship in no way, changes that. Should that not be effective I'll try to locate another individual to attend to him as I'm in MT and go from there... Thanks again!
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