LIFESTYLE NEWS - Follow these five helpful tips if you and your siblings care for ageing parents.
Don’t take it all on alone
If you or your siblings are caring for an ageing parent, it’s essential to be realistic about how much care they actually need and if you can provide it without harming your wellbeing or financial security.
These are conversations you need to have with your parents and/or their financial advisor.
Don’t be a victim of “I shouldn’t have to ask”
If you’re the one doing most of the caregiving, you’ve probably thought: “I wish my brother or sister was more willing to help.” Remember that not all siblings feel the same way about their parents; each person has their own relationship and played a different role in the family while growing up. They may not feel the same way about your parents’ care as you do, or perhaps they show it in different ways. If you need them to help you, it’s better to just ask instead of holding a grudge.
Don’t treat each other as kids
Approach your siblings as adults and give them a chance to react to the situation too. Try not to fight like kids and get a mediator to help if this isn’t possible.
Don’t automatically revert to your childhood roles
When you were kids, an older sibling may have taken care of everything. It’s easy to fall back into those roles and leave them to care for your parents. But this isn’t fair on anyone; talking and working out what responsibility each of you can take on is a far healthier approach and will bring you closer.
Don’t avoid planning for the tough reality ahead
Death is very hard to talk about so most people avoid the conversation altogether. This makes things worse when it’s crunch time and no one knows what to do. Call a family meeting when your parents are still healthy and chat calmly.
Here’s a way to start the conversation: “Remember aunt so-and-so, and how our cousins were still fighting when she was on the respirator and they wouldn’t let her die and how painful that was for everybody? We don’t want that to happen in our family. Mom, Dad, do you have any special wishes? If you were on a respirator, would you want us to do everything possible, or would you just want to go quietly? Who should make that decision? We’ll all want to do what’s right, but we may have different feelings.”
When the whole family hears your parents’ wishes, it’ll be much easier when the time comes to carry them out.
* Source: Adapted from dailycaring.com