Relations among family members often affect how an elderly parent is looked after. If there is conflict, a Court may ultimately be called on to resolve the care issues.
Last week, reasons for judgement were released in the case Re Stewart, in which a widow had two daughters, who both were involved in her ongoing care. One lived with her (on Vancouver Island) and the other visited regularly, though not often, and kept in touch. The sisters’ relationship deteriorated over time, especially after one of them asked about certain bank withdrawals.
The Supreme Court was asked to appoint a Committee for their now incapacitated mother. Difficult though the choice was, the Court appointed the daughter who lived with her mother. The Court cited many factors for its decision, including the sisters’ conflict, their mother’s desire to continue living at home, medical opinions that supported the existing adult daycare programs for the mother, and that the other sister had not produced evidence supporting placing their mother in residential care.
Conflict among siblings over their elderly parents’ care is not uncommon today. Courts are called on to resolve some of the disputes, expensive as it is, and they have considerable discretion in determining solutions. The main consideration is always the patients’ best interests.
This ad ran in the Richmond Review on December 26, 2014.