Caring for your aging or ill parents can be complex and stressful. When more than one adult child is providing care, the dynamics often become even more confusing. Sometimes everyone has a different idea about what is best for mom or dad, and opinions may not always mesh when it comes to deciding who will provide care and where parents will live. While everyone likely has the best of intentions, the mixed family dynamics sometimes cause more harm than good. Understanding why this happen and learning new ways to cope with struggles can help the family to come together and provide the best care for a loved one at a time when care is needed the most.
When it comes to a situation where multiple children are providing care, the emotions involved in the family transition can be stressful for everyone to experience. Many children struggle with watching their parents grow old and the reality that they will one day die, and it can be difficult to reverse roles and manage a parent’s health, financial affairs and other important issues. If you are struggling with these feelings, have patience and compassion for yourself. Grant yourself forgiveness, and make sure you are doing the same if you are watching your siblings experience negative emotions, even if you think those emotions might be responsible for some choices that you do not agree with. Take time to talk through your frustrations with other family members that are involved in providing care, and never be afraid to enlist the help of a professional therapist or social worker if you need to.
Caring for the Primary Family Caregiver
Another important thing to consider is who will become the primary family caregiver. Oftentimes, one sibling gets placed in this role, and they may not completely be on board with the decision. In most cases, it is the sibling who does not have a family of her own or is currently out of work and needs a place to live. While family members might look at this approach as solving multiple problems at the same time, that is not always the case. If you have a sibling who will be taking primary responsibility for your parent’s caregiving duties, give that person the respect she deserves. Offer her emotional support, and make arrangements so that other family members step in to provide care at times or take over some of the caregiving tasks so that the primary caregiver gets the rest and time away that she deserves. Hiring a respite caregiver can be very helpful in this situation. If your parent’s needs are more complex, it might also be a good idea to explore in home care or in home health care options. Brought in part time, these services can provide your parent with the support she needs while also supporting your sibling and letting her know that her contributions are appreciated.
Working with your siblings to provide care for a parent can be complicated, but coming together as a family is the best way to ensure your parents can continue to live long, healthy and fulfilling lives. When it comes to supporting families, Salus Homecare is ready to help. Our professional home care and home health care programs provide valuable assistance with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of living and respite time away for family caregivers. With flexible scheduling and cost effective options, we offer the perfect level of support for the entire family unit. To learn more, call and schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
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