It’s a blessing when an aging parent lives in close proximity to her adult children. Sons or daughters are able to provide the level of support the elderly parent needs as her condition grows increasingly fragile. Whether living near or long-distance, siblings may have differing views on their parent’s home care.
Squabbles between siblings are common and lead to more stressful caregiving for the primary caregiver tending to Mom’s or Dad’s daily needs. Siblings might argue about who will accompany Dad to the doctor next week or deliver harsh criticism about care practices for Mom.
Caregiving is a 24/7 job, and the non-caregiving sibling may not recognize the tremendous amount of time and energy necessary to properly care for an aging person. The sibling living further away might argue she has no time to contribute to care duties.
A long-distance sibling may also fail to pitch in due to financial constraints, even while the primary caregiver’s funds are slowly being drained by paying for the parent’s doctor’s bills, medical equipment and medicine. Discord between siblings regarding money is common.
A third reason for sibling conflict may arise when the non-caregiving sibling makes it known that she cannot bear to see her parent in a feeble condition. Especially when Mom or Dad suffers from dementia, the drastic changes in the loved one can be painful to witness.
Despite the fact that siblings argue, refuse to help due to lack of time or money or cannot bear to see a beloved parent suffer in old age, they can still contribute to the well-being of Mom or Dad. These tips allow siblings to be involved in a parent’s care:
Tip #1: Initiate a Family Meeting
As a first step, bring all the siblings together in a heartfelt yet practical discussion of a parent’s needs and wishes in regard to care. The strengths of ea
A family meeting is important in that it gives all siblings the opportunity to learn about their parent’s condition. Care decisions may be made as the siblings brainstorm. The primary caregiver also has the chance to explain how she handles everyday care and where more help is needed.
Regular check-ins keep all family members informed. Schedule these check-ins so that siblings stay updated on their parent’s condition as well as the primary caregiver’s. Send updates via group emails, social media sites or conference calls. Suggestions for improvements in care are to be encouraged.
Tip #2: Hire a Third Party
Siblings might accuse the primary caregiver of spending too much of Dad’s money on medical expenses or respite care. Hiring an objective third party becomes a practical solution. A geriatric care manager is an elder care professional, often a nurse or social worker, who coordinates all aspects of senior care.
Or, brothers and sisters may iron out their differences in family counseling sessions. A psychologist or social worker is instrumental in helping siblings understand each other’s frustrations and perspectives. Once underlying issues are resolved, the initial challenges of caring for an elderly parent also work themselves out.
When family arguments are too heated for resolution, elder care mediation is useful in facilitating negotiations between disputing siblings. Mediation helps siblings arrive at their own solutions and can prevent quarrelsome family members from destructive actions, like lawsuits or guardianship petitions.
Tip #3: Utilize Skills Sets
Although hiring the services of outside professionals is expensive, the aging parent’s higher quality of life is indisputable. For families that are unwilling to agree on the expense of hiring an objective third party, designating care tasks to siblings with appropriate skills sets is an affordable means of care.
A long-distant sibling may refuse to contribute financially but is in the position to offer bookkeeping tasks, work with Medicare and manage the senior’s health insurance matters. The sibling might also research financial assistance programs or professional in-home caregiving services.
Tip #4: Directly Ask for Help from a Home Care Agency
Primary caregivers who hint at needing help are unlikely to get the assistance they need. A workable plan, however, involves creating a realistic list of exactly where Mom or Dad needs help and how the siblings may contribute. Asking for help with specific tasks will lead to tangible results.
For example, the primary caregiver may request a reasonable financial sum so she may cover the cost of a parent’s specific care. If the sibling refuses, the caregiver might respond with a request for financial assistance so that a professional can instead complete the necessary task.
Even if siblings are unable or unwilling to contribute time or money to a parent’s care, the primary caregiver should keep them updated about life as a caregiver as well as the parent’s well-being. The siblings’ financial situations may change in the future, allowing them to help out more.
All too often, family members are unable to get along, leaving the primary caregiver to shoulder the heavy weight of caregiving responsibilities. In such instances, it is important for the caregiver to seek outside sources of reliable help, like those from Assisting Hands Home Care.
Family caregivers continually turn to and trust the elder care services provided by Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers are licensed, bonded, insured and have passed stringent background checks. We provide a variety of flexible in-home care services to reduce the stress of senior caregiving.
Assisting Hands Home Care services include invaluable respite care, short-term care, 24-hour care and dementia care. Our team of dedicated professionals is experienced in taking care of a senior’s everyday non-medical needs, like bathing, dressing, companionship, meal preparation and transportation.
As a primary caregiver, relief from caregiving tasks offers immeasurable benefits. Whether you seek respite care or any of our comprehensive elder care services, you will find immense support in partnering with West Palm Beach, Florida’s, most reputable home care agency, Assisting Hands Home Care.