Many hands make light work, according to the old saying, and that is certainly true when caring for aging parents. If you and your siblings interact in harmony to fulfill the requirements of your senior family members, congratulations! Often, however, one sibling shoulders the majority of the responsibilities. This could quickly lead to misunderstandings, conflict, and hurt feelings.
These three basic steps can help you more fairly distribute caregiving tasks with your siblings.
- Set up a meeting with your siblings. It’s imperative to make sure you and your siblings are on the same page. Straightforward, open communication is essential to expressing your perspective and hearing theirs. Clearly explain that you’re feeling stressed with carrying the lion’s share of caregiving jobs, and that you’d like more assistance.
- Come up with an inventory. Be specific about all the responsibilities that go into your role as the primary caregiver. Figure out who is best equipped to provide support in each area based upon time or distance restrictions. Even if one of your siblings is located out of the local area, there are plenty of ways to help from a distance, such as exploring services and resources, setting aside regular time for FaceTiming, paying bills online, etc. In-person tasks can include:
- Making meals
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Lawn care
- Trips to market along with other errands
- Pet care
- Transportation to doctors’ visits, the beauty salon, weekly religious services, etc.
- Record details. When you have agreed upon a good division of responsibilities, write down your decisions and provide a copy to each person. Note all other important topics that came up in your discussion so you can revisit what was mentioned in subsequent meetings. Make sure to think through future planning needs as well. If one of your parents is in the initial phases of dementia, for example, you’ll want to be prepared for evolving care needs as the disease advances.
Despite having assistance from your sisters and brothers, taking care of aging parents isn’t always easy, especially when balancing your own career, household, family, etc. One great way to guarantee a healthy life balance for you as well as your siblings is by partnering with Compassionate Nursing Services, an award-winning provider of St. Louis home health care.
Our caregivers are fully trained and skilled in all of the care tasks listed above and a whole lot more. We are here to work alongside your family to fill in the gaps in care – whether for several hours each week or up to and including 24/7 care. This enables you and your siblings to identify the care tasks you want to manage yourselves, and then leave the rest to us.
Provide your aging parents with the very best care, while making sure you and your siblings have sufficient time for self-care. Reach out to Compassionate Nursing Services at 314-432-4312 for a complimentary consultation and for more information about the ways we can help. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.