Top 3 Excuses from Siblings Who Don’t Help With Caregiving

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Caregiving for an older parent can be a daunting task and a difficult one to do alone. Distributing the burden among siblings can make it easier so no single person becomes overwhelmed.

However, gathering the cooperation of siblings presents its own challenges. Difficult logistics, complicated family dynamics, and grief-based disbelief can all be factors for why siblings sometimes choose to skip out on caregiving responsibilities.

What is a caregiver to do?

Well, somewhere between taking “no” for an answer and having a blow-up fight is a middle ground where caregivers of older parents can move their siblings toward a willing, greater level of contribution.

We take a look at three common reasons siblings don’t fully participate in the care of their older loved one and offer tips to navigate around those objections.

‘No one ever asked me’

One of the common traps caretakers fall into is assuming that other people know all of what is involved in caregiving and how they could step in and be helpful. After all, an undone task is front-of-mind to the person providing the care. But it isn’t necessarily obvious to someone who hasn’t provided care before.

So the first step to getting more help is to ask for it. Be specific: “Mom has a new doctor’s appointment on Wednesdays. That’s normally the day I do her grocery shopping. Would you be willing to do one of those for her, and I’ll do the other?”

Another trap family caregivers can fall into is inertia. The sibling who lived closest or had the most time available might have picked up most of the caregiving tasks in the beginning, but it wasn’t supposed to be for forever. Take time to regularly re-evaluate who is doing what and if that still makes the most sense.

A different kind of inertia is when well-worn patterns, often rooted in childhood, can play out in the roles each sibling takes on in caregiving. The older siblings might have been “in charge” a lot growing up, but that doesn’t mean the youngest can’t take a decision-making role now. Roles that made sense at age 6 should not dictate behavior at age 46.

‘You’re overreacting’

Caregiving is a slippery slope. Often, caregivers slip into the role without realizing it, as their parent’s needs grow over time. If the person most involved in caretaking doesn’t notice what’s happening, siblings who are more removed can also miss it and be slow to be convinced of how much care is actually needed.

Asking a sibling to help with a task they think their parent can do on their own will often lead to resistance. Overcoming that resistance is possible, however.

One way to demonstrate the scope of care required is for caregivers to keep a log of the activities they help with. They can also have a doctor, nurse, social worker, or geriatric care manager assess their parent. Such an assessment by a third-party professional can go a long way toward convincing skeptical siblings.

‘I live too far away’

This excuse might have worked in the ’80s, but the internet allows for a lot of tasks to be completed from a distance that used to require proximity.

Although out-of-state siblings still can’t do hands-on caregiving, such as cooking a meal, they can order groceries online and have them delivered. If an in-town sibling is becoming overwhelmed with responsibilities, an out-of-town sibling can research home health aides to help relieve the burden. They can arrange lawn service, maid service, or pay the monthly bills.

Benefits of a Team Approach

Taking a team approach to caregiving helps prevent the burden of caregiving from being overwhelming to any one person. It helps brings siblings together so that they’re on the same page when it comes time to make decisions such as whether to seek assisted living.

Are you experiencing other conflicts among your family members? You’re not alone. Download our eBook “11 Most Common Caregiving Challenges” for a more in-depth look at common family conflicts that can occur when siblings are caring for their parents or when your parents don’t want help.

 

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    Often, many adult children avoid bringing it up because it can be a sensitive topic.

    This guide will provide you with helpful tips and insight on how to have a productive conversation with your parent and siblings regarding your parent’s future.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    This guide will provide answers to questions you may have on this topic.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    What qualities in a community should you look for? How do you know you made the right decision?


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    This guide provides tips and ideas on downsizing, what to pack and how to make the transition smooth for your senior parent.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    In this eBook, you’ll learn how to talk with family and friends about caregiving challenges, how to deal with a parent who is resistant to help, how to get more caregiving help from your siblings, and how to keep your job while caregiving.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Have you had to cut back your hours at work to care for your mom? Are you worried about administering medications or injections?

    Have you stopped getting together with friends, either because you don’t have the time or you’re too exhausted? Are you becoming the invisible second patient?


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Navigating adult sibling relationships can be a challenge, but coming together for the sake of your parent is important.

    In this guide, you’ll learn about common sibling conflicts that arise when caring for parents, strategies for getting siblings on board, and where to turn to for help.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Assisted living can be a touchy subject. No matter how you approach it, your parent is likely to have objections to something.

    As you help them transition to a new stage of life, it helps to be prepared with answers to their questions and concerns.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    A Guide to the Most Common Family Caregiver Challenges Associated with Caring for an Aging Parent.

    You’ll learn about the true costs of being a family caregiver, common family conflicts that can occur when caring for parents, and some of the unexpected challenges of caregiving.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    The list details what important questions to ask during your visit so you are able to make an enlightened choice and find the best assisted living community for your needs.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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