The following checklist can help siblings better manage the care of their senior loved ones.
—Identify and list the needs that your senior loved ones have that will enable them to remain independent and avoid family conflict throughout the aging process. Tasks to consider include meals, housekeeping, scheduling doctor appointment, bill paying, grocery shopping and companionship. Key needs include:
- Activities of daily living
- End-of-life including advance directives such as living will and long-term care
- Estate planning and funeral planning
—Research the options that can help you meet those needs.
- Your local Area Agency on Aging
—Divide the needs of your senior: those needs that will be met by family members and those that will be contracted.
- Divide the tasks so that each family member has input in the process.
- Make sure the tasks fit the needs of your siblings as well as your senior loved one.
—List the tasks for which those in your family will be responsible. Remember to keep the list flexible for the changing needs of your senior as well as the demands on you and your siblings. You’ll need a plan and overseer as well if you’re contracting outside services.
—Promote sibling teamwork and decision-making by including in your plan regular times to stay in touch with your siblings to avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding.
- Make sure no one is doing too much. If you are the primary caregiver, ask for help if you need it. If you are a long-distance caregiver, ask for ways to help the primary caregiver. Long-distance caregivers can help facilitate online orders and bill-paying, as well as provide companionship through telephone calls, letters and emails.
CAREGivers from Home Instead Senior Care can make a difference in your life by providing companionship and support.