Siblings Coordinating Home Care Services for Their Parents

Siblings Coordinating Home Care Services for Their Parents

There are two sure ways that will send you back to childhood:  going home for the holidays and needing to deal with aging parents.  When a crisis occurs, adult children are immediately thrown back into childhood roles, highlighting all the hidden or ignored family dysfunctions.    Adult children may be in denial over their parent’s condition, they may lack the knowledge and information to deal with the situation, leading to more confusion, denial or hurt feelings.  Often there is an unspoken agreement to which child will care for Mom and Dad, such as the first born, the one that lives closest, the one who is unemployed, or the one with the financial resources.  Stepping into the role of making decision for your parents is not an easy one.  In the best of situations the stress involved in caring for elderly parents in unavoidable.  Your parents may be frightened or confused or feeling too proud to ask for assistance.  So what can be done to alleviate the inevitable?  Here are five tips to ease the sibling distress:

1)      Get everyone involved

When it becomes apparent that home care services are needed, it is time to call a family meeting.  Make sure that all members of the family are involved in the process, and that everyone has a good understanding of the situation.  It may be time to seek the advice of an elder care attorney in regards to important legal documents, such Power of Attorney or Living Wills.

2)      BE HONEST!

Stepping into the “parenting the parent” role is difficult.  Forty – seven (47%) percent of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression, with approximately a quarter to half of these caregivers meeting the diagnostic criteria for major depression (Zarit, S. 2006) Caregivers need to be honest with their siblings about their parents condition and their own condition – emotionally, physically and financially.

3) Don’t assume anything

Many times siblings assume either that things are going fine, that the situation is “under control” or that the sibling assuming the lead role wants it that way.  None of these may be true.  Ask questions about everything and communicate frequently!

4) Listen to what your parents say

REALLY listen to what your parents tell you – and what they don’t tell you.  Often times their pride will prevent them from asking for help or from telling you what is really bothering them.  Instead of asking “How can I help you?”, ask “What tasks don’t you enjoy doing any longer?”  Be patient and allow your parents to ease into this new shifting of roles.

5) Consider a Qualified Home Care Service

If all attempts to work with your siblings fail, consider using qualified home care service that provides a high level of care necessary for your parents.  Cedas Home Care Services is here to help!

On May 5, 2011, posted in: Senior Home Care by

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