Sharing Caregiving Responsibilities
Caring for an elderly parent can be rewarding and exhausting at the same time and, when you add a chronic illness, the situation becomes even more complicated. Sharing caregiving responsibilities with siblings can help make things easier- but can also be frustrating and cause the relationship to become strained if you’re not careful.
If you are located in or near Colorado Springs, Gentle Shepherd Home Care can help with in-home senior care needs. We offer care services ranging from companionship to transportation to medical care and more.
In this article, we’ll offer some tips for sharing caregiver responsibilities with your siblings.
Top 3 Tips for Sharing Caregiving Responsibilities
When it comes to taking care of an aging parent, factors such as geographic proximity, work schedules, and expertise/skillset often cause one sibling to take on more than their fair share of the responsibilities- which can cause resentment. However, while challenging, it is possible to share these responsibilities, keeping everyone involved in the process.
The first step is to set up a family meeting to define the responsibilities. You may want to include the care recipient as well, depending on the situation. This should be done when there is not an emergency, and everyone can calmly discuss what type of care is currently wanted/needed and what may be necessary in the future.
During this discussion, you’ll determine who will be responsible for what tasks, and you may want to designate a primary caregiver that can step in if there is a crisis.
Determine Strengths and Weaknesses
When deciding who will be responsible for what, it’s important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of everyone involved. Be realistic about what you can do and what you are willing to do. Also, keep in mind that responsibilities may change over time due to changes in the situation.
Supporting the Primary Caregiver from Far Away
Many times, the sibling that lives closest to the elderly parent becomes the primary caregiver. However, siblings can still be supportive from far away by offering emotional support and occasional respite. Ask them what you can to do help them. You may be able to take some of the pressure off of the primary caregiver by staying in contact with your parent through phone calls or emails. While it may not sound like much, offering a listening ear can help.
In addition, siblings that are not local may make arrangements for professional caregivers and even research assisted care facilities, if appropriate. You may also research medical diagnoses and/or medications, pay bills, keep other family members updated, order groceries online, and more. There is a lot that you can do from a distance with today’s technology.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Defining and assigning responsibilities can help ensure that things are taken care of- but it’s still important to keep the lines of communication open. You can do this by having a family text group, group email, or binder left at your parent’s house, or any way that makes sense to you.
Gentle Shepherd Home Care Can Offer Relief
If your elderly parent needs in-home senior care services in or near Colorado Springs, contact Gentle Shepherd Home Care. We only choose caregivers that have the experience and expertise to provide quality, professional care. Schedule your consultation today and let us show you how we can help you and your siblings care for your aging parent.