Learn how helping older adults can bring families together


Families can grow stronger as they work together to help older relatives.


For example, siblings who share duties and make decisions together tend to:

  • Understand and respect older family members' wishes more

  • Feel better supported and less stressed

  • Feel closer to one another

Family members including older adults can encourage understanding and closeness by:

  • Discussing and honoring older family members' wishes

  • Making decisions and plans together

  • Thinking of themselves as a team

  • Taking turns helping or splitting up tasks

  • Asking for help when needed

  • Recognizing the different ways that others help out

  • Understanding how they and others react to stress

  • Trying not to take things personally

  • Avoiding side conversations that keep others out of the loop

  • Spending fun time together

Older adults can also encourage understanding and closeness by:

  • Discussing their needs, wishes and priorities with family members

  • Being open about what decisions and plans they have made

  • Not expecting one person to provide most or all of the help

  • Taking part in family meetings