3 Tips To Get the Sibling Caregiving Help You Need

January 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Do you wish your sibling would help out with caregiving your parents?

 Do you feel like you’re all alone–with way too much to do?

Do you wish you could share the ups and downs of caring for your parents? It’s frustrating–and disappointing when our siblings don’t pitch in, but sadly, most families have a “designated” caregiver who seems to take on the brunt of the caregiving workload.

Three Tips to Get the Sibling Caregiving Help You Need:

  1. Assign a caregiving chore. Be specific. Many sibs just don’t know where to start. They feel overwhelmed and maybe even a little intimated. Ask them to champion over one area–and something that’s repeated. Ask them to take your mom to get her hair done every other week, or ask them to pick up all the prescriptions once a month and bring them home and put them in daily containers, or ask them to dad-sit once a week and play Scrabble or rent videos so that they’re actually creating a relationship side as well as giving you a break.
  2.  Find something they’re good at–and capitalize on that. Is your sibling an accountant? A banker? Ask them to help you with the financial side of caregiving (including all the medical and insurance). Don’t just hand it over, but work together so that you know what’s going on–and so do they.  What if your sib is a great cook or does she know a good caterer? Ask if they’ll freeze you two meals a week. They can do that from home but it still helps you out. Everyone is good at something–and when you’re doing something you love, it doesn’t feel like work or an imposition. Be sure to thank them–even make a big deal. Nothing is better than positive reinforcement.
  3. Do things together. If your sibling is uncomfortable with caregiving, why not do things together? Ask them to come to a doctor’s appointment with you and your mom–and then go out to lunch together. Or ask them to come over and help you rearrange your parent’s room for better flow–and install a few handrails. Put on music the two of your enjoyed in your youth and bash out this rather big project in just a few hours. Let go of what you’re not getting, and begin to appreciate your family right where they are. Even one small change is significant.

Bonus Tip: Instead of focusing on caregiving chores, focus on building (or rebuilding) your relationship. As much as you think you need help, what you need more–is connection. Just having a sibling to call–someone to cry with, laugh with, work life out with–is infinitely more valuable and satisfying.

Entry filed under: brain fitness, caring for parents, elder care, family caregiving. Tags: , , , , .

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This Blog

Hi, I'm Carol O'Dell. This blog will include stories and lessons I've learned while caring for my mom, and now as I speak to caregivers around the country. I hope to offer suggestions, ideas and insights that will help others.

While this blog is supported by Dakim Brain Fitness, I’m not blogging to promote the Dakim company or products. Instead, I’m writing about how caring and being cared for affects your life and your family. My hope is that this blog gives you a place to learn, reflect, gain new perspective to make it another day.

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