Caring for an aging parent is stressful. You have to learn how to navigate a new kind of relationship with your parent and determine the best course of care, and oftentimes, this causes tension within the family. If you have siblings, you may all have different ideas about what’s best for Mom or Dad, and the anxiety of your parent’s deteriorating health may stir up old baggage in even the most supportive of families.
Perhaps sibling rivalries that had been laid to rest reappear. You may be an adult now, but you still want your parents’ approval and love, and that may create more resentment or competition between you and your brothers and sisters. And of course, you may disagree on who will provide care, and how much it will cost.
Unfortunately, there is no handbook to guide you through this situation. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you through the family tension, and one of them is private home care.
As in all relationships, communication is key to navigating the new nature of your relationships with your siblings. The first step is to recognize it. Be honest with yourself and with your siblings about how the roles you were put into as children may be playing out as adults caring for your parents. Use this as an opportunity to change those dynamics by listening to the needs and concerns of each sibling. Own your feelings, and don’t be accusatory. Everyone wants what’s best for Mom and Dad.
Plan to discuss care with all your siblings on a weekly or monthly basis. If you don’t all live in the same place, video chat can be a powerful tool to make sure communication is the best it can possibly be. Make sure everyone is on the same page. These conversations could be greatly benefited by a professional caregiver. Not only will they have a full understanding of your parent’s needs, they can act as a neutral third party who keeps the discussion on track.
Strike a Balance
It’s easy to fall into old roles: the “good” child, the “bad” child, the overachiever, etc. But now that you’re an adult, you don’t have to fall into these boxes anymore. Traditionally, daughters are more likely to take on the caregiving role for their parents, but this isn’t a fair expectation. It’s important for there to be a balance in caregiving. Hiring private home care can be an enormous help here, ensuring that one sibling is not taking on the burden of all care.
Delegate According to Strengths
Yes, the roles you fell into as children are likely to resurface in this situation, but you can use this to your advantage. Maybe one sibling is very organized and financially savvy, so coordinating medical care is their forte. Maybe another sibling has a very close relationship with Mom, and so can convince her that private home care is a good thing. Delegate the different areas of care according to your individual strengths.
Take Care of the Caregiver
Finally, a big reason why you may be feeling tension between siblings is caregiver burnout. Caregiving is demanding, and it may require siblings to take time off work and away from their own families. It may be hard to prioritize self-care. With private home care, you can rest assured that your parent is getting the help they need from a professional who understands.
If you need private home care in Naples, we’d love to help. Contact Gulf Shore Private Home Care today to get started.