Sharing care giving duties with family members can present unexpected challenges and sometimes getting on the same page can be harder than you think. Navigating the care of elderly parents and the decisions that come with it, can fall between two extremes – families who get together and plan how to take care of their parents’ health long term; and then families where siblings who never got along as children, have little to do with each other as adults, who are suddenly thrown together in an emergency situation and forced to make essential caregiving decisions together, with disastrous outcomes.
Begin an early dialogue.
Having those important conversations with your parents, together as a family, no matter how uncomfortable at the time, can set you up for amicable success when the need for care arises. Planning ahead is key. You hear all too often of siblings falling out when the caregiving responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of one family member – with little to no help from anyone else in the family. Assumptions made can result in additional stress, indecision, anger, resentment and ultimately, broken family dynamics. Avoid the mistake of waiting until an emergency happens. Even if your parents are functioning well physically and cognitively, have the discussion with your siblings sooner rather than later.
Assign a sibling as the primary caregiver.
Proximity is a huge factor in how quickly or frequently a family caregiver can check-in on or assist a love one. With some siblings living in a different state and one close by, appointing each other as a “primary caregiver” and taking turns to travel, stay with parents, and help when and wherever possible, is a step in the right direction when it comes to fewer hard feelings and avoiding all the responsibility falling to one sibling.
Utilise each other’s strengths.
Matching caregiving tasks to the strengths of individual siblings is a great way minimise potential issues. If one sibling loves cooking, they can be responsible for preparing ready meals, while another sibling who may be an accountant, will be better suited for dealing with a parent’s financial matters. Ask your siblings what they would like to do – have the conversation and reach an agreement.
Accept disproportionate care.
No matter how you split up caregiving responsibilities, you may see one sibling doing more than others. This may be a personal preference, as one sibling may want to be more involved. This may be due to geographical location. A sibling living closer to a parent may be more able to provide more care. Divide caregiving work proportionately to these factors.
This is an important one when it comes to preventing carer burnout. Caring for a loved one can be both physically and mentally draining, so allowing each other reasonable time away from caregiving to relax and recharge, is a mindset that family caregivers must adopt and follow regularly.
What to do when siblings don’t help with caring for parents
Navigating decisions around parental care doesn’t always go to plan, especially when siblings disagree, which can lead to conflict and strained relationships.
Understand personal limitations.
For whatever reason, whether it’s proximity, the cost of travelling or simply choosing not to become involved, understand personal limitations no matter how difficult that might be. Everyone has their reason albeit selfish or valid – seeing a loved one on the decline can sometimes be very hard and confronting for a lot of people to face.
Employ Outside Help.
When conflict arises due to sibling disagreements and differences when it comes to parental care, situations such as these can be too far gone, where a resolution is simply unattainable. By the same token, as a family caregiver, you and your siblings may have expected too much from each other and admit that you might need to enlist professional care. At Home Care Assistance, we are here to help. Your loved ones health and wellbeing is our priority. We offer various services that are individually tailored to your loved one’s specific needs – from Hourly Care, 24-Hour Care, Hospital to Home Care, Specialised Care, and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care. Our experienced and trained Care Workers can assist with bathing, toileting, light housekeeping, meals and exercise. In addition to this – companionship.
Support of an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with a Home Care Assistance near me today.
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.