According to the old saying, many hands make light work, and that is definitely true with regards to siblings caring for aging parents. If you and your siblings collaborate easily to meet the needs of your senior family members, congratulations! Often, however, a single person takes on the majority of the responsibilities. This could quickly lead to hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and conflict.
The following simple steps can help you more fairly balance caregiving duties with your siblings.
- Call a meeting with your siblings. It is critical to ensure that you and your siblings are on the same page. Straightforward, open communication is essential to sharing your point of view and hearing theirs. Clearly share that you’re feeling overwhelmed with shouldering most of the caregiving responsibilities, and that you would like more assistance.
- Come up with a list. Be specific about all of the duties that go into your role as the primary caregiver. Figure out who is best equipped to provide support in each area according to time or distance limitations. Even if one of your siblings resides out of the area, there are many ways to provide support remotely, such as researching services and resources, setting aside scheduled time for FaceTiming, paying bills online, etc. In-person tasks may include:
- Cooking meals
- Cleaning and laundry
- Yard work
- Trips to the grocery store as well as other errands
- Pet care
- Transportation to doctors’ visits, the hair salon, weekly religious services, etc.
- Record details. Once you have agreed upon a good division of tasks, write down your decisions and present a copy to each person. Note any other important issues that came up in your discussion so you can revisit those at a subsequent meeting. Make sure to think through future planning needs as well. If one of your parents is in the early stages of dementia, for example, you will want to be ready for growing care needs as the disease more fully impacts day-to-day life.
Despite having assistance from your brothers and sisters, caring for older loved ones isn’t easy, specifically when balancing your own personal family, household, career, etc. One good way to guarantee a healthy life balance for you and your siblings is by working with an in-home care provider, like Absolute Companion Care.
Our caregivers are fully trained and experienced in all of the care tasks mentioned above, and a whole lot more. We’re here to work alongside you and your family to fill in the gaps in care – whether for several hours each week or up to and including 24/7 assistance. This allows you and your siblings to choose the care tasks you want to handle yourselves, and then leave all the rest to us.
Provide your parents with the best possible care, while making sure you and your siblings have sufficient time for self-care. Get in touch with Absolute Companion Care, an award-winning provider of senior care in Phoenix, MD and the surrounding areas, at 410-357-9640 for a free assessment and more information on the ways we can help. Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the communities we serve.