Did you know that if you are struggling with the care of elderly parents, on your own, counselling in Glasgow could help you to cope better?
Your parents need you.
They’re getting older and the amount of assistance they require is growing.
No problem, right? You and your siblings have it covered.
Or so you thought.
What happened when you called your siblings for help with medication or transportation to appointments? Which brother or sister volunteered to help stock your parents’ home with groceries or perform maintenance tasks? Who managed their bank accounts and bills last month?
No one stepped up?
No one else had the time, the money, or the heart to deal with the sad realities of caregiving?
All too often, this is the family situation of a dutiful son or daughter/caregiver.
If you’ve stressed to your siblings the importance of pulling together and teamwork to no avail, then it’s time you deal with them and the implications of their inaction.
Disappointed as you may be, you may have to figure things out on your own.
1. First, give your siblings an undeniable opportunity to help. Leave no doubt that you are asking for help. Invite everyone to a family meeting, even include a healthcare professional or social worker if possible. Be as direct as possible about your parents’ needs.
Clarify any points of contention or misunderstanding regarding your caregiving responsibilities and reiterate specific needs or problems.
If siblings are offended or in denial, you may have to let it go for a while. Heightening tensions will just further stress you.
2. Next, try the indirect route. Calendars, schedules, pharmaceutical information, and information regarding your parents everyday care and medical conditions should be emailed and communicated in a “for your information” way. Don’t ask for their help, just make it possible for siblings to see their parents as they truly are—people in need of significant daily care. This communicates that the situation is real, you’re not exaggerating or overstating the need.
Even if siblings don’t respond, consider your efforts a seed planted that will hopefully take root and grow a desire to pitch in.
3. Concentrate on communication rather than compliance. Consider the idea that your siblings have reasons for resisting care of your parents that are valid and serious for them. Your ability to acknowledge this without trying to control their actions or impose your timetable may prove more fruitful down the road.
At some point, your siblings may feel ready to step in, and you’ll be able to receive their help because open and honest communication has been maintained between you.
4. Don’t waste time with resentment. Caregiving is a monumental task. It taxes the mind, body, and spirit. Your frustration is understandable, but will only lead to resentment that steals all of the joy out of relationships.
The reality of the changes happening to your parents is often sobering and emotional. Determine that you will get the support you need elsewhere so that you may forgive your siblings and enjoy the time you have with your parents as much as possible.
Which just may be the best thing you can do for anyone.
5. Build a non-familial foundation of caregiving support. You can’t afford to continue on without back-up. Take these measures to secure help:
Investigate your local area for practical caregiving resources and information.
Schedule appropriate training with medical centers or support programs.
Ensure your own self-care by arranging regular respite care, formally or with those in your community who are willing to help periodically.
Obtain mental and emotional support by working with a counsellor or a support group.
With a bit of diligence and coordination, you can manage the care of your parents and their affairs without your siblings or running yourself into the ground.
Interested in emotional support with the care of elderly parents?
Call Neil Ward Counselling Glasgow on 07970 860 711 to set up a FREE telephone consultation.