An Anonymous Caregiver’s Take: How to Get Siblings Engaged
My siblings weren’t helping with caregiving for mom and dad, and I was furious. Weren’t they their parents too? Rather than remaining angry and severing family relationships forever, I came to the realization that my anger didn’t help. Then I decided on a different approach to engage siblings who were clearly uncomfortable with hands-on caregiving. Instead of asking them to help with the daily tasks of caregiving, I asked them to help me out by performing tasks that were less threatening and scary for them - but very helpful to me. This, I reasoned, might be a strategy to get them to contribute to the cause - and it worked! Maybe it will help you, too. Although your list may differ, here’re some ideas of tasks that you might delegate to others - especially when they ask, “What can I do?”
Take the car to be serviced
Sit with parents while I go to the gym, movies, or a medical appointment
Clean and organize the pantry, garage, closet, drawers, etc.
Pick up the groceries, or medications from the pharmacy
Keep relatives and family friends updated on our parents’ health
Make meals for the freezer
Schedule and/or attend medical appointments
Research medications, healthcare products, diseases or local program offerings
Complete, submit and follow up on the cumbersome Medicaid, the Veterans Administration’s Aid & Attendance or other applications
Research, evaluate and decide on an adult day care program
Take me to lunch!
Indulging your siblings’ preferences is probably one of the last things on your mind while caregiving, but trying this just might help.