Siblings play an important role when parents begin to age. Caregiving becomes a responsibility that each child must consider, as their parents begin to age and require more assistance.
Between visiting them, bringing them to appointments, getting them groceries and other responsibilities, caring for parents can become a pretty big job for just one person. It is easy to put pressure on yourself which can make you feel overwhelmed very quickly.
If you have siblings to help share the burden, it can become a lot less stressful and much more fulfilling.
If you are someone with a sibling or siblings who are all contributing to the health and well-being of your aging parent, then there are a couple of things to consider.
Communication is Key
Like anything in life, it is important to understand your feelings and recognize when you are becoming stressed or overwhelmed.
When it comes to caretaking, there are many different roles and support systems necessary to provide the best care for your loved one.
Consequently, if these forms of support are not present it can become very stressful for a caretaker. They may experience feelings of burnout, financial troubles, and/or a decline to their own physical health.
There are three basic ways you can be supportive to help the primary caregiver of your family:
- Emotional Support – listening to their problems and being supportive
- Financial Support – helping with bills or picking up groceries
- Physical Support – offering them a break and stepping in as caregiver
In some cases, seeking external help through a family therapist or social worker can help allow each sibling to communicate their feelings in a more effective way that could help all the parties involved.
Don’t Fall Back into Childhood Roles
As children to aging parents, and when cooperating with your siblings to provide care, it is easy for childhood trauma to resurface.
Whether it be the family roles, gender roles, or any other issues you personally may have experienced, it is important to address these issues before proceeding.
Make sure that each of your siblings have a say and that they are entitled to what they are feeling. Although you may have grown up with similar experiences it is important to note that everyone has their own experience and perspective.
Most importantly, we must note that as we get older, our careers, spouses, children, or even new hobbies often leave you feeling that there is no time left. Life gets busy and days go by quickly, however, you do make time for what’s important to you.
“To care for those who once cared
for us is one of the highest honours.”
– Tia Walker
So be sure to speak your truth with your siblings and offer your support in any way you can. Don’t depend on your siblings to fall into their childhood role and be the “babysitter” or “cleaner” or “organizer” as they used to be when you were kids. Have an open discussion to understand everyone’s current situation and come to a decision that all parties are comfortable with.
Do What Makes Sense
It is important to not focus so much on the equality of work, but instead what makes sense for all the siblings involved.
In many cases, siblings move away from home and never return. Whether it be for school, a new job, or to start a new adventure, your family is not always tied down to just one place.
Although you may be in a different geographical location, there is still much you can do to stay involved in your parents’ healthcare.
In a situation like this, it would make sense if the majority of the physical care is done by the person who lives nearest your aging parents. If you live in a different province or country, there are other ways you can help, such as providing emotional or financial support.
Don’t make siblings who are living away from your parents feel guilty for not being there or not doing something they were supposed to do. It is important in stressful times to offer your support and be kind to your siblings, as your common goal should be to give your parents the best care possible.
Get Professional Help
As humans, it is important to know our limits and know when we need to ask for help. It is okay to not always have situations under control. Learning to deal with the anxiety and stress of life is an important tool to nurture.
There are tools and services available to people for when it gets too much. iAccompany is one of those solutions.
“Asking for help is never a sign of weakness.
It’s one of the bravest things you can do.
And it can save your life.”
– Lily Collins
iAccompany is a unique service that is designed to help families caring for aging parents. If you live in a different geographical location from your aging parents, it can be very useful. By hiring one of our qualified nurses, your parents will get accompaniment to, during and from their doctor’s appointment. They will get caring, professional support and you and your siblings will receive a full report on what transpired during the appointment.
With our website and mobile app, each child can stay connected to the healthcare plan of their aging mom or dad. Even the ones who live out of town can still be informed and contribute to sharing in the caretaking responsibilities.
iAccompany makes it easy to stay connected and involved with your aging parents’ healthcare. The full report following the appointment is peer-reviewed and records what the doctor discussed and answers any questions that the nurse asked on your behalf. We want you to be informed and confident in the decisions you make with your loved one as they age.
What’re you waiting for? Visit www.iaccompany.net and connect with Jackson today!