Taking care of an aging in place elderly parent by yourself can be time-consuming and stressful, especially when you have a career and household to manage. As a result, caregiver fatigue, or even burnout, are possible. Because of family dynamics, your siblings may just assume that everything is going well, and that you don’t need their help. If you’re currently in this situation, you may wondering how you can involve your siblings in your parent’s care. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to get them to participate, starting with these.
Why Won’t My Siblings Help Out?
Caregiving responsibilities for an aging parent usually fall upon the shoulders of the eldest daughter. With today’s busy lifestyles, your brother or sister may just be too caught up in their own daily activities to stop and consider that you might need a hand. According to caregiving experts, there are several common reasons why adult children refuse to get involved when an elderly parent’s health is starting to decline, including these:
- Live too far away
- Too busy with their own job and/or kids
- Still harboring feelings of resentment about sibling rivalries or favoritism growing up
- They have their own health problems
- Laziness or apathy
Even if some of these issues are casting a dark cloud over your family, try reaching out to your siblings anyway via email or phone to schedule a family meeting. Then, jot down some caregiving topics that you’d like to discuss with them prior to getting together.
Family Caregiving Meeting Topics
Here are some important topics to cover with your siblings during your caregiving meeting:
- A status update on mom or dad’s health, and their desire to continue aging in place
- Your parent’s daily/weekly care requirements so that their wishes are being met
- How the caregiving is affecting you, and the fact you could use some assistance
- Developing a caregiving calendar based on your siblings’ availability and skills
- Choosing a designated power-of-attorney (POA) for when your parent’s condition worsens, especially if they’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Encouraging your siblings to do what they think is right for them, while also trying to get as much support from your family as possible.
Don’t get too discouraged if one of your siblings shrugs their shoulders and refuses to lend a hand. Graciously thank them for their time and consideration, and then focus on those who are willing to pitch in. Your brothers or sisters may even have teenaged children who can volunteer too, which will also allow them to spend more time with grandma or grandpa.
Coordinating Your Parent’s In-Home Care
Based on input from the meeting, devise a caregiving calendar that’s based on each sibling’s specific talents, availability and commitment level. For example, your sister may be agreeable to providing meals or transportation, while your brother prefers doing home repairs and yardwork. That could free you up to focus on tasks like cleaning, laundry and helping mom or dad manage their finances. Here are some of the caregiving duties to include on your list to involve your siblings in your parent’s care:
- Paying bills
- Personal hygiene
- Food shopping and meals
- Transportation to-and-from doctor’s appointments and other activities
- Helping your parent exercise
- Medication reminders and refills
- Companionship to help prevent loneliness and depression
Unfortunately, there may be times when your siblings can’t help-out with your parent’s care for one reason or another, or you’re an only child. If either is the case, you may want to consider hiring a professional respite caregiver when you need to take a break.
Affordable In-Home Respite Care for Seniors in Massachusetts
Providing in-home care for an aging in place parent is rewarding, but it can also be stressful and exhausting. If you’re unable to involve your siblings in your parent’s care and you need to take a break and recharge, call Cranberry Home Care. As a family owned and operated home care agency, our reliable respite caregivers will step in so that your mom or dad can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. Our carefully screened and highly trained aides can perform home care duties like light housekeeping, personal hygiene, medication reminders, meals, transportation and companionship.
And, all our fully licensed respite care services can be individually tailored within an affordable package that’ll put your mind at ease. To learn why more families in the Southeastern, MA, area are placing their trust in Cranberry Home Care, or to schedule a FREE, in-home care consultation for your senior now, please visit: www.cranberryhomecare.com!
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