Family caregivers often write to me and complain that when it comes to eldercare and parents, siblings are often nowhere to be found. Denial, historical sibling rivalry, limited finances, and living far away are some of the reasons why one adult child shoulders most of the parent-care responsibilities.
Truth is family caregiving tasks are rarely distributed equally or fairly among family members.
If siblings are not helping you; then listen up. This two-part blog will attempt to explain what’s going on behind the scenes and help you take action as best you can.
Start the process by considering the role your parents may be playing in this scenario. They are NOT innocent bystanders by any means and are part of the reason why you are doing all the caregiving work.
Can you relate to any of these circumstances?
- Parent continuously expects you to care for them.
- Parent barks orders at you and you alone.
- Parent views eldercare as "woman’s work” and lets sons off the hook.
- Parent plays favorites and you’re it.
Hmmmmm. No wonder you’re at wits end!
Now consider the mindset of your brothers and sisters. Can you relate to any of the following situations?
- Sibling feels that “Mom always liked you best” and uses it as an excuse.
- Sibling denies parent-care is needed and chooses to ignore the situation.
- Sibling lives far away.
- Sibling has major problems and is incapable of being helpful at this time.
- Sibling is getting back at you for any number of reasons.
- Sibling cannot psychologically handle a parent’s decline and death.
Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog where I will offer tips from my book, The Complete Eldercare Planner. In the meantime, visit my website for additional family caregiver articles and suggestions -- www.elderindustry.com.