Probably one of the greatest strains on families is caring for a loved one together. Too many times, caregiving is left to one family member while other siblings refuse to help. Caring for a loved one with dementia related diseases is no easy task. For your loved one's sake and your family's sake, join together in meeting the demands of giving care. Every sibling has talents suitable for caregiving such as financial expertise, nursing skills, administration, organization, etc.
Find below five tips to work together with siblings in caring for your loved one as you alleviate the burden of caregiving on just one.
1. Focus on the quality of your loved one's care
It’s helpful to remember that when siblings are able to work together to care for aging parents, the parents will get better care overall.
Plus, when siblings are in conflict, parents are likely to know. It will probably upset them to be unintentionally causing a difficult situation.
If you’re spending time and energy fighting with each other, it takes away from the effort you could use to advocate for your older adult.
Thinking of these factors might help you to put aside differences for your parents’ sake.
2. Don’t get stuck in childhood roles
It’s easy to fall back into childhood roles and rivalries when working together to care for aging parents. Siblings might compete to be the favorite or fight to control decisions.
It’s helpful to remind yourselves that everyone is now an adult and that you don’t have to follow the behavior patterns of childhood.
Try to treat each other with respect, as you would any another adult.
3. Get rid of sexist stereotypes
Gender stereotypes shouldn’t be used to assign caregiving responsibilities.
Brothers shouldn’t expect sisters to do all the work because they’re used to the idea of women taking care of the household.
Siblings can work only together effectively when gender stereotypes are put aside.
4. Don’t aim for equality, do what makes most sense
It’s not likely and not practical that you’ll find a truly equal distribution of caregiving work.
Instead, it helps the whole team if responsibilities are distributed in ways that make sense based on each person’s unique situation.
Siblings will live varying distances from parents, have different financial situations, and have different life responsibilities. It’s natural for one or two to take on more responsibility than others.
This “inequality” isn’t always a bad thing. When one or two people can respond quickly when things happen or be there in person more often, they can take the lead.
Of course, it’s still important that all siblings contribute. Having regular family meetings to check in and acknowledge everyone’s contributions helps keep things on track.
5. Be kind to each other
Caregiving is a tough job that tests everyone’s patience. And some parents are uncooperative, mean, or don’t show any appreciation.
It makes the job a little easier when siblings are kind to each other.
Plus, you can vent your frustrations to each other and get support, knowing that you all understand the situation.
Rest assured, your loved one knows when there is tension among siblings. Put their minds at ease and work together.
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