This article discusses the importance of everyone contributing to caregiving for a loved one. Caring for elderly parents can be quite challenging for families, particularly if multiple siblings are involved. In many cases, one sibling ends up performing most of the work — which can lead to resentment and conflict within the family. Geography is usually the reason one sibling performs more work, as their brothers and sisters live too far away to regularly pitch in.
Fortunately, there are some simple techniques you can use to ensure every sibling has the chance to contribute to their parent’s care. By using these techniques, families can divide responsibilities in an equitable way, ensuring their parents get all the care they need.
Spend time planning the care that your parents receive
Even if you live far away from elderly parents, you can still organize the care that they receive. The internet is particularly useful for this task. It is simple to find and book caregiver services or to find social clubs that your parents may be interested in.
Some of the services you can engage online include meals on wheels, transportation services, caregiver services, and other types of in-home assistance. You can even book a cleaner to visit your parent’s home on a regular basis. Organizing these services takes some of the workload off other siblings who may be helping your mom and dad in-person.
Keep in regular contact with your parents
Staying in regular contact with your parents helps to ensure they are getting the help they need. You can ask questions about their health and be certain that they are still feeling comfortable in their home. Regular phone calls also lift the spirits of your parents, reducing the risk of social isolation or depression. A simple phone call or FaceTime sessions can really bring comfort to an older relative.
Siblings can create a contact schedule to ensure their parents have regular contacts with their family members throughout the week. Siblings who live far away from their parents can try to remain in regular contact and improve the quality of their parent’s life.
Contribute more financially
If you live far away from your parent and cannot contribute as much time as your siblings, you can still make a significant financial contribution. That contribution may involve paying for a caregiver to visit your parent two days a week or paying for an alarm system for the home. You might even ask your parent if it is ok to install a camera system in the home to allow you to check on them throughout the day.
Siblings living remotely can also contribute to the finances of the sibling who is providing most of the in-person care. You could offer to pay for the fuel they use when driving to visit mom and dad, or give them a gift card each month to deal with miscellaneous expenses. Your sibling will feel appreciated for all the hard work they do.
Keep in regular communication with other siblings
If family members are geographically separated, it is important to keep lines of communication open always. This helps to avoid any confusion about who is performing a certain task or what needs to be done. There may be disagreements on what is best for your parents from time-to-time. However, if everyone is communicating regularly these problems can usually be solved with quickly and easily.
Use resources from outside the family
If the burden of caregiving is falling heavily on one member of the family, looks for ways to give them a break. You may be able to hire another caregiver to work in your parent’s home once or twice a week. There are also senior’s activity centers where your parent can spend some time. Churches and civic organizations often run day trips for seniors, which can help to relieve the burden of caregiving on your siblings.
Have your parents come visit you
If your parents are still capable of traveling, have them come and stay at your home for a week or two. You will get to spend some precious time with your loved ones and give your sibling a break from caregiving.
How All Heart Home Care Can Help
All Heart Home Care is the leading provider of home care in San Diego. Our company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and we are a Certified Employer of the American Board of Home Care. We can help your parents enjoy a dignified retirement in the comfort of their own home. Some of the non-medical home care services that we provide include:
If you are interested in learning more about the importance of everyone contributing to caregiving of a loved one and our services, please contact All Heart Home Care at 619-736-4677. We offer in-home consultations and would love to discuss the many home care services we provide!