Once your aging parents need caregiving assistance it’s not uncommon for old sibling rivalries to resurface as relationships get magnified. Your “know-it-all” sister might decide to chime in from a distance while your “deadbeat” brother goes AWOL- again. Any way you slice it, caring for elderly parents can create a messy family dynamic. If you’ve been shouldering most of the caregiving burden alone, here’s how to let your family members know that you could use their help in caring for your elderly parents.
Family Members Serve Various Roles
Using siblings as an example, childhood roles tend to re-emerge when faced with a difficult situation like caring for older parents. Here are some of the more common ones:
- The armchair quarterback. This person always has it all figured out. If you don’t think so, just ask them. But for some reason they never seem to be around when you are bathing mom or taking dad to the doctor.
- The sponge. That financial tap from mom and dad that was turned on during childhood and is still flowing years later. In the event their parents stop paying out sponges seek other- and sometimes dishonest- ways to get what they want.
- The deadbeat. This lovable slacker shows up at the most opportune times- like Holiday gatherings- and watches TV while you prepare food and clean up. But when you try to call them to help install grab bars in your parents’ bathroom it rolls over to voicemail.
- The superhero. Usually an eldest daughter, this special person is highly efficient, selfless and someone that can be counted on to bring mom and dad a hot meal even during a blizzard.
If you fall into the latter category it’s easy to get so caught up in juggling a household, job and caregiving that you run the risk of caregiver fatigue and even burnout. Once that’s allowed to happen it can jeopardize your health and wellbeing, along with that of your parents.
How to Involve Other Family Members
Don’t allow yourself to get rundown. Instead, take these steps to involve your loved ones in mom and dad’s care:
Hold a family meeting
Sometimes siblings just assume that everything is OK, while other times they’re just too busy with their own lives. Even if it’s done from a distance via video chat, hold a family meeting with everyone. During the conversation update everybody about your parents’ mental and physical health, including any limitations with activities of daily living (ADLs) they may have.
Honestly explain why you need help and try to obtain members for your “caregiving team”. Recruit them based on each one’s time and talents. Be sure to thank everyone for participating and don’t get discouraged if some refuse to help-out.
Create a caregiving calendar
Using each member’s availability and skills as a guide, create a digital caregiving calendar that you can then share with the group. As your parents’ condition gradually declines you may find the need to add new responsibilities. You may also need to recruit more care team members.
Bring in an outsider
If talking is getting you nowhere it may be beneficial to bring in an outside professional like an eldercare mediator to explain the importance of working as a team so that mom and dad can remain at home. It’s also a good idea to designate a trusted family member with a durable power of attorney (POA) so they can make financial or healthcare decisions on your parents’ behalf.
Have a backup plan
If no family members are available another option that you have is hiring a professional caregiver from a licensed home care agency. A respite caregiver can step in and provide your parents with the nurturing they need. This means you can stay recharged and refreshed!
An Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Home
When you need to take a well-deserved break, contact First In Care and we’ll handle the rest. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency, our compassionate professionals stand ready to pamper your senior with the nurturing they deserve. While serving as an extended family in your loved one’s home our highly trained caregivers can deliver reliable services. Our services include respite care, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, transportation and even 24-hour care.
For your added convenience and peace of mind we offer flexible programs and affordable rates. We even accept long-term care insurance and V.A. payments! To learn more now about First In Care’s family trusted senior home care services in Manatee County, FL, please visit us at: www.firstincare.com.