Being a caregiver can often be difficult. Older adults may not be receptive to your attempts to help them, their medical conditions often worsen despite your best efforts, and some days you’re simply so exhausted you’re not sure you can go on. While you may appreciate the help of your siblings in caring for an elderly parent, let’s be honest – that can sometimes complicate things, too. Siblings who are both caregivers for an aging parent can often disagree on the way the senior should be cared for. This can create conflict between family caregivers. If you are a co-caregiver with a sibling, below are some tips to make it easier for you to work together.
Keep the Focus on Your Parent’s Care
Remember that when you and your siblings work together as caregivers, your parent’s overall care will be better. When you disagree and argue, your parent is likely to pick up on that. Seeing their children in conflict over their care can be stressful for them. When you keep this in mind and focus on providing your parent with the best care possible, it’s likely to reduce the tension between siblings.
Accept Siblings for Who They Are
Caregivers often have an ideal they would like their siblings to fit into when it comes to caring for a parent. Ask yourself if what you’re wishing for is realistic. When you can see your sibling for who they are, you can adjust your expectations. Remember that no one is perfect, including you. Work with what you have and try to tailor your role and your sibling’s role as caregivers to your individual abilities.
Discard Gender Stereotypes
Sometimes caregiving between siblings is complicated by outdated stereotypes. For example, when a brother and sister are caregivers for a parent, the brother might expect the sister to perform the traditionally “female” tasks, like cleaning and cooking. Gender stereotypes must be set aside so that work can be divided evenly and appropriately.
Siblings should remember that being a caregiver is difficult on everyone. That means your sibling will have bad days, too. Try to be forgiving when they are on edge and say something that bothers you. Ask them to do the same for you.
Get Some Help
If caregiver duties are overwhelming you and your siblings, you can ease the tension by getting some help to lighten the load. Consider contacting a home care agency to bring in professional caregivers to assist your parent while you take a break.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Cumberland, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.
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