When you’re a caregiver, many things can get in the way of doing your job well. We’re all busy people, and if your sibling lives in another city—or even another country—it may be challenging to coordinate visits or essential tasks. But one thing that can help is learning more about caregiving and sibling teamwork through these challenging times. In this post, we’ll explore strategies for siblings working together on caregiving responsibilities.
Focus On The Quality Of Your Parents’ Care
The most important thing to consider when choosing a caregiving arrangement is the quality of their care. Quality comes in many forms. It’s not just about how much time your parents spend with their caregivers or how much money you’re spending on them, but also about whether they are getting the kind of care that will help them live a fulfilling life and maintain as much independence as possible.
There are many things that can affect the quality of life:
- Are they eating well? Do they have access to medical care? Is there someone who can help them with daily tasks like bathing and dressing?
- How often do you see them? Do you regularly eat meals together or take trips together? Or does it feel like once every couple of months when you go over for coffee because you want to catch up instead of being able to schedule something more planned out beforehand (which isn’t always an option).
Maybe it’s time to sit down with your parents and have a heart-to-heart. You might find that your parents are not as forthcoming about their needs as they could be. But if you’re lucky, they’ll let on that they need help with something they’ve always been able to do themselves—the dishes, laundry, or some other household chore.
Maybe what’s most important is that someone checks in on them daily to ensure everything is okay. Or maybe it’s just getting enough sleep so that mom can get through her day without feeling exhausted or overwhelmed by tasks she has to accomplish (and still be there for everyone else).
Don’t Get Stuck In Childhood Roles.
As a caregiver, you may find yourself stuck in a role you don’t necessarily want to continue. You may feel it’s your job to take care of everyone else and that you should never ask for help or share your feelings.
Although this is undoubtedly a caregiver’s responsibility, other adults can help too! Your siblings can pitch in on chores around the house or offer necessary transportation services.
Get Rid Of Sexist Stereotypes
Sexist stereotypes can lead to conflict, resentment, and a sense that family members are not being treated fairly. For example, in many families, women take on most caregiving responsibilities because they are viewed as more nurturing and motherly. This can lead to resentment among other family members who feel they are not being treated with respect or fairness.
Be Kind To Each Other
Being kind to each other is a must. As you care for your parent, be respectful of the sibling helping out. Make sure they have their own space in the home and don’t take it over or make them feel like they are not needed anymore. If problems arise, talk about them before things get heated—you can always schedule an intervention!
Having siblings on board with the plan allows for more options and better communication between everyone involved in your parent’s caregiving team. It may even help increase morale during stressful times due to shared goals being met more quickly than if only one person were responsible for taking care of their aging parent alone.