Everyone knows that caring for a sick parent can be stressful. When multiple siblings feel duty-bound to pitch in and help, it can be even more difficult to know how to effectively divide up the labor without creating arguments and hurt feelings.
Unfortunately, many misunderstandings can arise when children try to share the responsibility of caring for their aging parent. It's easy to feel slighted or undermined by other siblings who may not make decisions the same way or respect everyone else's wishes. No matter how hard families try to work together collaboratively, sibling rivalry is still lurking beneath the surface.
To ensure that all siblings are working towards a common goal, it's important for families to discuss what each person needs and expects from caregiving duties. Even if family members live far away, there are still ways to come up with processes and guidelines that everyone can follow. By discussing how their respective roles will fit together, siblings can help minimize any disagreements that may arise.
The first step is deciding what tasks need to be done. Everyone should work together to come up with a list of duties and exchange ideas about potential solutions. If some of the siblings live close by, they might agree to take turns providing hands-on care, while those who live farther away could help out financially. Having some sort of plan in place allows everyone to know what will be expected of them and helps those involved keep track of their contributions.
Making sure everyone has a comfortable form of communication can also help keep misunderstandings to a minimum. Whether it's a group chat or phone calls, having an open line of dialogue helps people stay up-to-date on the care their loved one is receiving as well as plans they've agreed upon ahead of time. Without good communication, it's easy for misunderstandings and resentments to build up between siblings.
It's also critical for families to remember to be mindful and respectful to one another during this difficult process. Though tensions may inevitably run high, it's important for everyone involved to take calm breaths and talk things out rationally instead of choosing combative words and actions.
No two families have the exact same caretaking situation, so each family must find its own balance. Allowing everyone to voice their concerns throughout the process–without judgement–helps ensure that caregivers are taking the appropriate steps for all involved in the best way possible. it'll be helpful for all parties involved to have someone who can remain impartial and act as a sounding board if needed, such as a social worker or psychologist.
It's essential to remember that no one should be made to feel guilty for not being able to provide enough support. Dealing with a sick parent is never easy, and every family must find their own way of dealing with it and supporting one another during what can be an incredibly difficult time.