How much the compensation is and who pays it can be covered in a Personal Care Agreement, which is a written contract.

This can be reviewed periodically to ensure it reflects any changes in care.

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With this information in writing, a difficult situation is made a little more tolerable.

Some families compensate the primary caregiver for their work, particularly if he or she has cut back on employment to care for their parent.

If the meeting is likely to be contentious, or if you want an experienced, objective voice to guide it, involve a facilitator such as a social worker, counselor, geriatric care manager or trusted outside party who will ensure that all participants have a chance to be heard. And although emotions might run high, it’s possible to conduct a productive meeting by following a few guidelines: With Durable Powers of Attorney or an Advance Health Care Directive, your parents can designate who will be in charge if they become incapacitated.

Sometimes this creates tension among the adult children.

Their adult children may be caring for them for years or even a decade or more.

Siblings or step-siblings are coping with a major emotional passage that stirs up childhood feelings and conflicts.

At the same time, your parent is very aware — and most likely not happy — that he or she has become so dependent on you. Think about, and talk about, family history and dynamics, and how they might affect caregiving.

When we get together with our families, many of us tend to slip into our old roles.

But it’s made more challenging when there’s no model for working together as a team to handle the practical, emotional and financial issues that go with caring for someone who is no longer able to be independent.