Caring for Elderly Parents: What to Do When Siblings Avoid Helping

Caring for Elderly Parents: What to Do When Siblings Avoid Helping

It’s not unusual for some siblings to avoid helping to care for elderly parents.

If you are responsible for most of the care for elderly parents while your siblings distance themselves from helping, you are not alone. In fact, 50% of all family caregivers are caring for an aging loved one alone, based on a recently available report from AARP.

Understanding why this situation is so typical – and learning what can you do to safeguard your own personal health, which can easily be impacted by providing care for a senior loved one on your own – is critical. Our aging care experts have the answers.

  1. Family members do not recognize there is a need for assistance. It may very well be that from the outside looking in, you have everything covered and running smoothly, and are not in need of their support. 

What you can do: Have a truthful, open conversation, describing the pressure you are under. Invite your brothers and sisters as well as other members of the family to visit during a period of higher intensity care needs, such as when you are planning and preparing dinner and then helping the senior prepare for bed, and recruit their help to allow them to see firsthand how many tasks are involved.

2.  They do not know what to do to help. Although it might seem intuitive to simply jump in and meet a senior’s needs, that is not the situation for everybody. 

What you can do: Make a list of particular tasks that you could use assistance with, together with the times and days that help and support are needed, and ask for volunteers.

3. They are uncomfortable or afraid. For a person who has never cared for a senior loved one, it may be truly overwhelming.

What you can do: Invite them to “shadow” you for a day to help increase confidence with the specific tasks that they are uncomfortable with. A small amount of hands-on training tends to make a big difference.

At Hired Hands Home Care, our experts in senior care in Napa, CA and nearby areas are always ready to work with you to meet the care needs of your senior loved one, with professionalism, compassion, and dedication. Reach out to us at (866) 940-4343 and learn more about our award-winning in-home care services. 

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