When You Are the Primary Sibling Caregiver for an Aging Parent

- a president of shaken pianos

I'd like to talk to you some more about

sibling rivalry as I mentioned before

it's something that you may think is

relegated to your past but as you get to

be an adult you might find if you are

taking care of an aging parent that

sibling rivalry becomes very much of a

challenge for all of you so let's say

that you are the child who is taking

care of your aging mother and your

siblings are scattered throughout the

country you're the one who lives near

mom you might not have as many children

at home where they might not be little

children and so it is viewed by

everybody that it would be easiest for

you to take care of mom because you're

in the vicinity let's say she lives a

little ways away from you a couple of

blocks and so it's easy for you to get

over and check on her from time to time

and in the beginning that arrangement

might work out very nicely you're able

to keep involved with your social groups

any part-time jobs you might have your

children your spouse your pets your

workout routine all those things might

be able to fit in okay with taking care

of your mom in the beginning but as your

mother's illness or aging progresses you

might find it as taking up more and more

of your time and you might come to

resent the fact that you are doing the

lion's share of your work while your

brother and sister are living their

lives out wherever they live that it's

not really seeming to it to impact them

so what can you do about it first of all

you need to keep in mind that if you do

live closer that's just a fact it is

easier for you to take care of your mom

your brother may have to save up for

plane fare to come out and see you to

help out it might just be something it's

not that easy for him to do and you

don't want to lose his job but there are

things that we'll talk about that your

siblings who live far away can do to

help out more in the meantime it's

important that you ask for help from

your siblings things that they can do

and you need to be honest about it and

you need to be very specific because you

are the one in the trenches with your

parent you're the one that knows

Clee what needs to be done and somebody

who isn't nearby can't really be

expected to know that so you need to say

this is what I need I need you to come

for a weekend or a week if that's what

it is so that I can take a break this is

getting to be too much for me until one

other your siblings if you can please

cover that time or you can comfort half

the time and the other sibling can come

from the other half at the time

I need that help or maybe they live

within driving distance and they just

can't get there on the weekdays then on

the weekends you can say I need to get

out of the house I need to get away I

need a break I need you to please come

so that I can go do the grocery shopping

so that I can go out and have lunch with

a friend so I can go take a nap you need

to be very specific and when they get

there you need to say specifically what

you need done I need you to make sure

that mom takes her medication I've

written out a schedule for you so that

you can follow it I need her to eat

lunch from this time to this time after

that she needs some laundry done be very

specific and thank them so much for

participating it's hard when you come in

and you're new and you haven't been the

one doing the care it's intimidating so

you want to encourage them to help you

and let them know you appreciate it

the other thing to remember is you need

to step back so let's say you you

planned out a specific lunch for longed

to eat and your sibling finds out that

mom is really missing the Donalds for

example if she goes to get McDonald's

try your very best to just let it go it

isn't the way you would do it and it's

not the way it's being done the majority

of the time but your sibling is trying

to set up a relationship with your

parent and they're trying to do it in a

way that makes sense for them do your

best to let that go appreciate the time

that you could take for yourself and ask

for help that's the most important thing

you can do to let your siblings learn

how to become involved and encourage

them to continue to be involved thank

you for what you're doing in caregiving

is a wonderful thing and you're making a

difference in someone's life if you have

any questions or comments just leave

them in the comment section below I'll

be happy to address them in upcoming

segments a great day I'm Shane