Family Caregiver Challenges: When Siblings Aren’t Helping

One of many family caregiver challenges is difficult family dynamics.

If you’re managing all of the care for your aging parents solo while your siblings refrain from helping, you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, as many as half of all family caregivers are taking care of an aging loved one on their own, according to a recent report from AARP. It’s one of the top family caregiver challenges being faced, and can be difficult to know how to resolve.

Why is this scenario so common – and what steps can you take to protect your own health, which can quickly be negatively impacted by providing senior care alone? Our team of aging care experts has some tips to help in three different situations that could be contributing to the problem.

  1. Your siblings don’t understand that you need their help. It may very well be that from their perspective, you have everything under control and running smoothly, and don’t need their assistance. 

What you can do: Have an honest, open discussion with your siblings, explaining the stress you’re facing. Invite them or other family members to come over and visit during a time when care needs are highest, such as when you’re making dinner and then helping your loved one prepare for bed. This way, they can see firsthand how much work is involved, and you can enlist their help.

  1. They don’t know how to help. Although it may be intuitive to you to simply jump in and take care of your senior loved one’s care needs, that may not be the case for your siblings. 

What you can do: Put together a list of specific tasks that you need help with, along with the times and days that assistance is needed. Then share the list with your siblings and other family members, and ask for volunteers.

  1. They’re uncomfortable or afraid. For a person who has never provided care for an older adult, it really can be truly daunting.

What you can do: Invite your siblings to “shadow” you for a day to help instill confidence in the particular tasks that they feel uncomfortable with. A little hands-on training may be all that’s needed to ease fears and discomfort.

At Hillendale Home Care, the most trusted caregiver in Walnut Creek and surrounding areas, our care professionals are always here to work with you to meet the care needs of your senior loved ones, with professionalism, commitment, and compassion, so you’re never alone. Contact us online or at 925-933-8181 and let us know how we can help!