Watching your parents get older is not easy for you and your siblings. Taking care of your aging parents is even more challenging. As the roles of children and parents change, it can be challenging for siblings to find the right balance to provide care for parents as a team. It becomes too easy to depend on one sibling more than the others to handle all aspects of caregiving. The following checklist will help you and your siblings find and maintain the ideal balance of caregiving for your aging parents.
Accept that things change.
Just because your older sister constantly took on more responsibility when you were younger does not mean that she will automatically do that now. You and your siblings need to sit down and discuss all aspects of caregiving for your parents. Determine the role each sibling will have in caregiving. Then, fulfill your given role.
The primary caregiver needs emotional support from the rest of the siblings. Lack of appreciation is a surefire way for ill feelings and resentment to grow. Make sure that your sibling knows how much you appreciate what she does for your parents – and do all that you can to help lighten the load.
Lighten the load.
Now that you have shown appreciation make sure you do your part to help to caring for elderly parents. Even if you live far away, you can still participate. For instance, you could take over paying bills online or setting up appointments over the phone.
Prepare for the future.
You and your siblings must accept the facts, including the eventual death of your parents. Make plans now to avoid any confusion when the time comes.
Ask for help.
If you are the primary caregiver, never be afraid to ask for help. Your siblings need to do their best to help you, but you must remember that they cannot read minds. If you need help, ask for it.