It is often envisioned that a family elder care situation involves one adult child providing home care for the elderly parents that raised them. While this may seem like a tremendous burden to put on one person, it is often considered that it is better for one person to handle all of the responsibilities because it makes for faster decisions and more dedicated care. In reality, having all of the responsibility of being an elderly home care provider is extremely stressful and can put a strain on the caregiver because she is no longer able to address her own personal needs. If you are caring for an aging loved one and have siblings, it can be incredibly beneficial for you to seek the help and support of your siblings in providing elder care for your loved one.
If you are planning to divide elder care responsibilities with your siblings it is important that you have a planning meeting ahead of time in order to discuss how each person will contribute to your parents’ care. This may seem like a formality, but it will help to ensure that each of the siblings is held accountable and that the entire obligation doesn’t fall on the shoulders of one person. Consider the relationship that each sibling has with his parents so that the responsibilities can be divided accordingly. For example, it is likely that your mother would rather have a daughter help her bathe than one of her sons, while your father may prefer his sons to help him use the restroom.
You may also want to consider other factors when deciding which sibling will handle what aspect of your parents’ elder care. For example:
- An adult child that works at home may be the more appropriate choice for being “on call” or providing transportation to doctors’ appointments than a sibling that works outside of the home
- An adult child that is good with math may the best option for managing the finances and making sure bills are paid
- An adult child with young children who does not work may be the best choice for visiting daily or helping run errands.
Make sure that everyone is in agreement about the division of responsibility and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and your parents if someone does not live up to his part of the agreement.
Care Connection provides elder care in DeWitt, MI. For more information about our caregiver services, please call us today at (517) 489-2489.