You were thrilled to assume ownership of the family business when your brothers and sisters moved away. But you didn't bargain that you would have all the responsibility for Dad's care. Keep your brothers and sisters informed about how your father is doing and if you have specific needs, let your siblings know what they are.
Since you moved hundreds of miles from home for a great job, your sister has assumed the care of your parents. But you feel left out. Offer to help with from a distance, ordering items your parents might need online and having these things shipped to your parents' house, setting up automatic bill paying for your mom and dad, and helping your sister keep track of their appointments.
You're at the hospital where your mom's sudden stroke has left her in a coma with little possibility that she will survive. A family member wants to discontinue life support, and tempers flare. Why not involve a third party such as a hospital social worker who is accustomed to dealing with such situations?
You're surprised when your dad calls to say he wants to move to a care community and that he wants you and your siblings to pick out the place. It could be that your dad is just overwhelmed at the idea of being alone in a big house that he can no longer maintain. Find out if that's true.
You just received the big promotion you've always dreamed of and, as the youngest and as Mom's presumed favorite, you have taken over the job of her care since she fell. You're struggling with depression and resentment because your brothers and sisters won't step up to help. Call a meeting with all of your siblings and find out if they are willing to discuss the situation.
You've been the primary caregiver for your mom during the past year. Your siblings have offered to help, but it seems that if you want something done right, you must do it yourself. It's easy to feel that no one can do the job like you, particularly if you've always been the one that your mom counted on. Think about the fact, though, that your siblings might be feeling left out.
You finally convinced your mother that she needed a little help at home, but then your sister visited from out-of-state and convinced Mom that she was fine. Now that sis is gone you're stuck doing all the extra work. Why not make a list of all of your mother's needs and all that you are doing to meet those needs so your sister sees the issue in black and white.
Family caregivers know all too well the sensitive issues that can send brothers and sisters into turmoil. Family caregiving may be stressful under any circumstances. But certain situations are hot button triggers. These events can make the life of caregiving siblings more difficult and lead to family conflict.
Caring for an aging parent isn't simple, but this straightforward checklist, along with links to resources for more information, can help you breakdown and organize what can feel like an overwhelming responsibility.