Are you struggling to support an aging parent, with or without your sibling's support?
Maybe you haven't spoken to your siblings for some time because you feel they don't support YOU to care for your Parents?
From my experience working with families, this is a common roadblock and a source of pain for a lot of people.
So how can you decrease the struggle you may be experiencing with your siblings?
First, you need to understand why the situation is so tense and emotionally charged to begin with. There is no instruction manual on how to care for an aging parent and it can be a time of uncertainty with their precarious health and ongoing safety concerns, especially at this challenging time with the added threat of COVID-19.
It is difficult to see our parents declining and it can raise A LOT of different emotions in you and your siblings; you may feel sad or scared and your brother or sister may be angry or in denial.
It can stir up old feelings and childhood differences between yourself and your siblings. Previous rivalries and childhood competitions; the need for love approval and to be in charge can resurface, making the idea of working “together” seem almost impossible!
You and your siblings may need to reconsider the role each of you have as you support your aging parents. Often times, this has not been discussed in advance and many assumptions are made. It is often assumed that the child living closest to the parent will assume the role of caregiver OR that if one sibling is now retired, then they should do everything. It’s often assumed that the son will manage the finances and that the daughter will do personal care tasks. But these assumptions don’t distribute the responsibilities fairly and are not necessarily in line with what each person's capabilities are. This can cause resentment to surface and that is not productive when trying to support Mom and Dad.
It’s often hard for everyone to agree on what is best for Mom and Dad and what they even need for support. This may be because of the how each child is processing their decline, that fear, anger, sadness or denial. It may be they still need and want your parents to “Parent Them” or they feel a need to protect and please Mom and Dad and not want anything bad to happen to them.
This can be a difficult time for siblings, when they are expected to “rally” and come together for the good of their aging parents, but it is not without challenges. If ever there was a better time to connect, it is now. I encourage you to reach out and connect with your siblings and have these difficult conversations.
If you are stressed, anxious and overwhelmed by your Caregiving responsibilities, on top of everything else, I am available to safely talk via phone or video call during this time of social distancing.
To learn more about support available for family caregivers, join our FREE Facebook Community, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/theicarecommunity/
Invite your brother or sister to join!!
Until then, stay positive, stay connected, stay home and stay safe…