For the past 6 months you’ve been providing some daily living assistance to your aging in place elderly mother. But with your own busy household and part-time job to manage, the added workload and stress are starting to wear you down. Your adult brothers and sisters all live nearby, but thus far they’ve been “MIA” when it comes to helping-out mom. What should you do to involve your siblings in the caregiving process?
Finding ways to involve your siblings in an elderly parent’s care can be challenging, but it is possible when you use these tips from those who’ve walked in your shoes.
Consider Family Dynamics
If your siblings are like most, they have their own interests and priorities. In most families, caregiving responsibilities usually fall upon the eldest daughter because other family members just assume everything is fine. But when that one sibling takes on the entire care for mom or dad, caregiver fatigue can quickly set in. Here are some of the main reasons why adult children don’t get involved when an elderly parent’s health begins to fade:
- Live too far away
- Feelings of resentment towards their parent or siblings stemming from childhood
- Too busy with their own household and career
- Disinterest or laziness
- They have their own health issues
If you’re currently serving as a sole caregiver, you’ll need to get some help from your siblings before your health and wellbeing are placed in jeopardy. Here are some ways to involve your siblings.
Keep Your Siblings Informed
Whether or not they show much interest, constantly update your siblings on mom or dad’s condition via phone calls, email or other method. Don’t be afraid to respectfully express your feelings while sharing the caregiving obligations you perform to keep your parent living at home. Once you’ve got their attention, schedule a family meeting to discuss sharing the caregiving responsibilities. And, don’t take it personally if one of your siblings decides to back out.
At the Family Meeting
When meeting with your siblings, provide a health status update for mom or dad and the weekly caregiving duties that are needed. Each person there will have certain skills that will be useful. For example, your sister may enjoy cooking and would be willing to assist mom with healthy meals and grocery shopping. Your brother might be very adept at home improvement projects and yardwork, which you struggle with.
In general, some of the caregiving duties to consider include:
- Yardwork and home maintenance
- Managing their finances
- Meal planning and grocery shopping
- House cleaning and laundry
- Personal hygiene
- Medication refills and reminders
- Overseeing your parent’s medical care
Choose a family care coordinator (Don’t be surprised if it’s you!) and have them devise a weekly caregiving calendar that can be shared with all siblings. If any of you have older kids, they can also be an invaluable resource while getting to spend more time with grandma or grandpa. Another topic of discussion is designating a durable power-of-attorney to handle your parent’s important medical and financial decisions should their condition worsen. Of course, that would also require mom or dad’s okay.
After the care plan has been implemented, the coordinator should monitor progress on a weekly or monthly basis. Adjustments will probably be needed during the first few months, and because life is what it is, all your schedules will probably change due to work and family commitments. Open communication is key, and make sure that if someone needs a break there’s another sibling who can step in to give mom or dad the consistent care they need. In the end, the entire nurturing experience should bring all family members closer together.
In-Home Caregivers that Treat Seniors Like Family
There may be times when you’re the only person who can provide care for an aging in place loved one. When you need time to recharge, call First In Care. As a family owned and operated home care provider, our highly trained and carefully screened caregivers will serve as an extended family in your loved one’s home. We are also a fully licensed and insured agency, which means you can rest assured that your senior will get the nurturing care they deserve so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be.
Our family trusted in-home services include companionship, light housework, personal hygiene, grocery shopping and meals, medication reminders and transportation. And, all our affordable amenities can be individually packaged when and where you need them. To learn more about First In Care, or to schedule a FREE, in-home consultation for a senior in Manatee County, FL, please visit: www.firstincare.com now!