Providing elder care for an aging loved one is a tremendous responsibility that requires not just the dedication, but also an incredible amount of time and energy. If you are facing the prospect of providing elderly home care for your parents, you may find that fulfilling the role of an elder care provider may require you to neglect other areas of your life such as your relationship, your children, your career and yourself. By sharing the responsibilities of providing elder care for your parents with your siblings, you are not only giving your parents the opportunity to spend time with all of their children and your siblings the opportunity to provide care and support for your parents, you are giving yourself the freedom to take care of other responsibilities in your life without feeling as though you are neglecting your parents.
If you are considering establishing a shared elder care arrangement for your parents with your siblings, it is important that you engage in careful planning and establish open lines of communication from the very beginning. Start by gathering your siblings and parents together for a meeting at which you will discuss with the arrangement and how the responsibilities will be shared. It is important that each sibling agrees to specific responsibilities and that everyone involved is aware of the responsibilities of everyone else so that each of you can be held accountable for upholding your end of the agreement.
Sharing elder care responsibilities with your siblings could mean splitting the week up so that each of you is responsible for providing care on specific days, or identifying specific responsibilities that each sibling will fulfill.
These responsibilities include:
- Grocery shopping for your parents
- Verifying in picking up prescriptions
- Bringing your parents to doctors’ appointments and treatments
- Cleaning the home
- Doing laundry for your parents
- Preparing meals
- Participating in entertainment or recreational activities with your parents
- Bathing and grooming considerations
- Shopping for clothing and other necessities
- Managing finances
Though it may seem too formal for the cooperation of siblings, writing down the division of responsibilities within your elder care arrangement help ensure everyone involved is in agreement. This also organizes the arrangement so that it can be easily work referred to if there is any confusion or conflict in the future.