The realization that aging parents need additional care can be a frightening time for any family. However, deciding who will provide that can often be a source of additional stress at an already trying time. One of the biggest questions that families who find themselves in a new care situation have is: how do we split the caregiving responsibilities?
When siblings are involved, deciding who will take on what caregiving responsibilities can be an arduous task. Our friends at the Family Caregiver Alliance have a wealth of information on this topic that you can find within their fact sheet, “Caregiving With Your Siblings,” and here are some of their top tips:
Be Aware of Emotions: A need to care for parents can stir up strong emotions in some people, whether it’s concern over the health of their loved ones, stress over how to manage care or past feelings from childhood. This is a time to be aware of your own emotions and those around you and try to offer some extra compassion.
Examine Responsbilities: Often, major stresses center around who will provide what care. First, it’s important to evaluate the actual care needs as well as who may be willing and able to act as a primary caregiver. This may fall to the eldest sibling, or the family member without children, but it’s important for everyone to examine their abilities and agree to play a role in care. Working with a home care agency that uses a home care software or home care system to manage their agency may help families better understand and examine options for outside care assistance as well.
Separate Yesterday from Today: Aging parents present a need to re-examine old roles and feelings. Past resentment, or the urge to push primary caregiving duties onto the “favorite” sibling can cause unwanted breakdowns in communication amongst siblings. By working together to be honest with one another, and looking at the new need for care as a new chapter, it may be easier to put old grudges or battles aside to come together for the wellbeing of your family.
Many families have also found that in-home care provided by a reliable agency can play a highly positive role in ensuring both parents and siblings maintain a sense of wellbeing. The best home care agencies will work with families to provide managed care using a home care software or home care system, like ClearCare Online.
With the help of a home care software or home care system, private duty care agencies can provide families with tools like access to the ClearCare Online Family Room, where schedules, invoices and care logs can be viewed by all members of a care team. Additionally, agencies using a home care software or home care system are more likely to be able to accommodate inconsistent schedules for clients on an as-needed basis when families need extra help.
Dividing care amongst siblings in order to care for aging parents is no easy task, but with time, planning and support like that offered by home care agencies with ClearCare Online home care software, the journey can be a little easier.