One of the most difficult realities for children to face is seeing their parents age to the point of needing assistance from them or a professional caregiver. Oftentimes children, who have now fully grown into adults, avoid planning for this moment because it is an unimaginable future. However, with the average lifespan ever increasing, adult children helping their parents is far more usual and has become another chapter in the book of life.
Some children are fortunate enough to face this chapter with siblings, but very few start talking with their siblings early enough or in the correct way their parents’ “what ifs.” The following are the first steps to starting the caregiving conversation with your siblings about your parents. Remember that even if it feels too early, it’s not, and you can be the first one in your family to make the brave move of taking the first step to care.
Determine Caregiving Roles
It’s always best to figure out everyone’s responsibilities before an emergency happens. Who has the time and energy to lead the caregiving of mom and dad? How can the other siblings help this person? Have this conversation early, so that if something does happen, your family is well prepared.
Create an Agenda
Stay organized by creating and sharing an agenda for what needs to get done. This will help you plan tasks ahead and ensure that the work is delegated between all of your siblings. Remember that even the busiest sibling with a bustling family can contribute by simply bringing their children by mom and dad to lift their spirits.
Let all voices be heard
The only way to make this part of life easier on you and your family is to talk, talk and talk more with your siblings. Remember that some conversations are appropriate to have without mom and dad there, while others may require their presence. Create an open environment where every family member feels welcome to talk.
Whether your family decides to take care of mom and dad at home, or that mom and dad’s quality of life will be better in an assisted living home – First Step to Care is here for you. First Step to Care is a resource full of information to help guide you into the unfamiliar world of senior care.
Taking care of someone who has taken care of you for so long may seem like a daunting and impossible at first, and at First Step to Care we understand all of the challenges you face. But we want you to know you are not facing this alone, and you will always have our love and support. Take the first step to care and start the conversation with your siblings.