Placing our parents in assisted living can be an emotionally taxing journey. The initial assessment, the often-difficult conversations, and the undertaking of moving our mother or father into an assisted living facility can be stressful. Not that assisted living is a poor experience in and of itself, quite the contrary. For many, assisted living poses an opportunity to greatly improve quality of life and open some doors to new and welcome friendships.
However, the road through this transition can be challenging. What’s more, is how we handle this new situation if we have siblings. What role do they play? Does the bulk of responsibility fall to one over another? By the time our parents are at an age where assisted living looks like a solution to the challenges of age and illness, most of us have families of our own. This is a time for brothers and sisters to come together for the sake of our parent’s comfort and happiness in their later years.
Here are some tips to help you care for a senior parent with other siblings:
Tensions Can’t Run High
Watching your parents enter into a difficult time as they age can be an emotional passage that can cause otherwise cooperative brothers and sisters to butt heads. In fact, with respect to some chronic illnesses like dementia or those that involve a major loss of mobility, watching it happen to our aging parents could be considered one of the hardest times in life.
It is reasonable to assume that no two cases would be the same. However, as we contend with the challenges of caring for our aging loved ones, we need to try and remain objective and sensitive that our brothers and sisters may be having an emotional struggle that is different from our own. Clear heads and patience will prevail.
The Roles We Play
Remember the roles we played growing up? Were you the overachiever? The responsible one? Where you the black sheep? Or perhaps the go-to when a family member had a problem? What about the household routines? Did you mow the lawn while your sibling emptied the dishwasher or take out the trash?
Think about the roles you played growing up and how you can use them to assign roles when it comes to caregiving. The advantages of assisted living being what they are, it is still only part of the picture. As children, now grown up, we still have a big role to play in the lives of our parents, and they will rely on us now more than they ever have. Indeed it was our parents who assigned some of these roles originally, but this does not mean we are well suited to them as adults. By sitting down and having an open and frank conversation with our brothers and sisters, you can reassign or reinvent the roles and responsibilities per the needs of the parent. Doing so with an open mind can take a lot of pressure off of respective families and result in a routine that is agreeable to everyone.
For more information on caring for a senior parent with the help of your siblings or placing a senior parent in an assisted living home, contact the experts at Colten Adult Care at 480.508.8266 for more information.