DEAR HARRIETTE: My father is in a nursing home, and he recently fell. He needs more care than this place has to offer. My sister, who lives in the area, has been handling things, but now we have to make tough decisions. She has been asking me and my brother to weigh in so that she doesn’t have to do everything herself. I feel weird about that.
Since I’m not there, how can I really be of help? I can’t see what’s going on with him, while she has much more access. I feel like she should have full authority to do whatever she thinks is right. My brother, on the other hand, has lots of opinions. She seems to be OK with what he has to say. I feel uncomfortable chiming in. What do you recommend that I do? -- Daddy Issues
DEAR DADDY ISSUES: It can feel burdensome for the local adult child to have to make all the decisions for an ailing parent. Your sister has asked for your opinion because she values it and needs it. It actually is selfish of you not to share your thoughts, whatever they are. Your sister honestly needs your support.
Pay close attention to what’s happening with your father. Do research when required. Learn as much as you can about what he is facing so that you can offer informed recommendations or thoughts when she asks. You can also be crystal clear that while you are happy to supply information, you defer to her in the decision-making, as she is the one on the ground seeing the situation play out in real time.