Chayet & Danzo, LLC Chayet & Danzo, LLC
Call for a Free Initial Consultation
Direct 303-872-5980
Toll-Free 888-472-1088
Email Us
Compassion, talent and dedication: guiding colorado families and Their Trusted Advisors During Times of Need

Stepfamilies face struggles when caring for ailing family members

Stepfamilies are becoming more and more common in Colorado and across the United States. Forty-five percent of marriages currently end in divorce, and 60 percent of men get remarried. This means that four out of every 10 Americans have one or more step-relatives. Many stepfamilies get along well, but there are a multitude of tensions that can arise when a parent remarries. One of the most difficult situations that a stepfamily can face involves a step-relative becoming part of a caregiving team for an elderly or sick family member.

A specific case of this type involved a 75-year-old woman whose husband suffered a stroke. She married the man 10 years after he divorced his first wife, and the man's children supported the marriage. However, even though the stroke occurred 15 years after the couple was married, the children began to challenge their stepmother's medical decisions regarding their father's health. The children began to go behind the woman's back to talk to their father's doctors and even accused the mother of giving up on their father.

In general, the lack of a shared family history can contribute to the small level of support that stepchildren give to their stepparents when they begin caring for their spouse's ailments later in life. Some steps can be taken to prevent situations like these, however. Calling a family meeting where an open and honest conversation can take place is the first step. This allows the stepparent and the stepchildren to address all of their concerns while reminding each other that they will be an important part of the recovery process.

A medical power of attorney can also be established. This means that a specific person in the family would legally be making decisions for the sick family member, and the other members of the family would have to accede to the legal agreement - even if they're not happy about it. A third strategy involves recruiting step family members to help with the care themselves. A stepparent that's taking care of their spouse may mend their relationship with their stepchildren if they're all working together to care for their loved one.

Source:, "How Caregiving Stepfamilies Can Get Along Better" Barry J. Jacobs, Nov. 15, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Watch Our Firm Video

We are the premier Elder Law firm in the Colorado region. We set ourselves apart from other law firms in the area with our talent, dedication, compassion and ability of our attorneys to handle any case in Elder Law. We serve Colorado families with experience and dignity in your time of need.

View More Videos

Denver Office
650 S.Cherry St., Suite 710
Denver, CO 80246

Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Phone: 303-872-5980
Fax: 303-355-8501
Denver Law Office Map

Edwards Office
105 Edwards Village Blvd.
Edwards, CO 81632

Toll Free: 888-472-1088
Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Fax: 303-355-8501
Edwards Law Office Map

Aspen Office
600 East Hopkins Avenue
Suite 301
Aspen, CO 81611

Toll Free: 888-472-1088
Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Fax: 303-355-8501
Aspen Law Office Map

  • Rated by Super Lawyers Macro Chayet
  • Rated by Super Lawyers Frank J. Danzo, III
  • Member National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. TM
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Elder Law
  • 2015 Five Star Professional Wealth Manager Multi-Year Winner
  • Our new 2015 Medicaid Book: how to protect your Family's Assets from devastating nursing home costs
  • Proud Sponsor 2015-Denver Colorado Senior Law Day
  • Peer Review Rated For Ethical standards & Legal Ability TM Martindale Hubbell
  • Haystack