My siblings never help with taking care of our senior parents. What should I do?
Don’t expect equality.
It’s essential to have reasonable expectations. Caregiving tasks have never been divided fairly. Most of the job is usually done by one or two siblings. Instead of expecting everyone to do an equal amount of work, concentrate on what each individual can do, even if it’s not as much as you’d want.
• No one can read minds.
Siblings who are not around to witness everyday life are often unaware of how much the caregiver does. It’s unrealistic to expect a sibling to know when they’re needed — they can’t read your thoughts. That’s why it is crucial to get assistance when you need it. If your siblings refused to help, look for resources in your neighbourhood, friends, or hire a professional.
• What if your sibling was out of touch?
Siblings may pass up doing their fair share of the work because they don’t believe there’s an issue or deny the seriousness of the situation. If this occurs, it’s better to share information with them formally, such as by email, conference call, family meeting, etc. Make sure also to include the doctor’s notes, diagnosis, test results, etc. Sharing those may help them realize what’s happening and how much help is truly needed.
• Recognize each other’s strengths.
Everyone has a unique personality and a different set of strengths. Some are better suited to hands-on care, while others are better at navigating the healthcare system, running errands, and repairing stuff around the house. Others are better with financial and legal paperwork. Remember that everyone has different potentials and weaknesses, and ask each sibling to aid with whatever they are capable of doing.