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The Conversation Before “The Conversation”: Getting Your Siblings on the Same Page Before Talking to Mom or Dad About Home Care

By Homewatch CareGivers Northhore

Considering getting a home caregiver for a parent in the Chicago area?

Well, that means it’s getting to be that time. The time for the conversation. The one where you talk to your parent about getting some help as they age.

It’s not a conversation you need to have on your own. If you have siblings, a united voice can reinforce that your work to get an aging loved one assistance comes only from a place of support and love. And as the National Center on Aging reminds us, it’s best for it to happen before an emergency forces the issue.

How do you all get on the same page, though? It’s all about approaching your loved ones with patience, understanding, and the right information.

Dealing With Parental Aging and Illness

It can be very hard for any child to see their parent grow old and age. If health concerns become more pressing, it can become even more difficult. The question becomes: What should be done?

As a child supporting a parent, you have many challenges you may have to navigate, including your parents’ own opinions and wishes, the desires of your siblings, and the realities of budget and timing. But at this stage in the game, it’s your turn to lead. It’s likely that if you’re the one reading this then you are the sibling who somehow ended up with that responsibility.

That’s actually a common arrangement: one sibling ends up in charge of what happens with a parent. This role is usually called the “primary caregiver,” and if it’s you, you may be eligible for financial support from state and federal programs, such as the Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program.

Whoever happens to be closest, geographically speaking, is usually the child who ends up taking the bulk of the responsibility and decision-making. However it goes, it will go better with everyone on board.

Challenges in Working With Siblings On Parental Care

The problem is, sometimes it can be difficult to get your brothers and your sisters on the same page – even if you know what’s best, because you’ve been in town and have been dealing directly with your loved one. Meanwhile, your siblings may be out of state and out of touch with what’s going on and may not understand the potential gravity of the situation.

No matter how difficult or challenging the situation may seem, one thing is very important: communication. You will need to discuss your parents’ needs with your siblings to move forward. Hopefully you can get your siblings on the same page and then have a talk with your parents. Research is mounting that caregiving can place a significant toll an individual that is mitigated by sharing responsibility.

But that’s the thing. You’ll need to talk to your siblings. Keeping them in the loop can go a long way to making the process as supportive as possible.

How to Talk to Your Siblings About Home Caregiving

Getting a home caregiver is one of the best ways to help an aging parent. It offers many benefits over moving a parent into assisted living or a nursing home, which may make the conversation easier. But when you do have a conversation with them, you will want to stick with facts and reason, and not get too hung up on emotions.

Need some talking points? Here are some benefits of working with a home caregiver:

Your Parents Will Be Able to Remain in Their Home

Assuming your parents live in a home that they love, there is no reason to move them to a smaller place that might be crowded, such as a nursing home. By getting an in-home caregiver, you are allowing your parents to stay in the home that they feel the most comfortable in. This has health benefits because it keeps stress lower. Homes are also quieter and more tranquil than nursing homes; they’re simply more pleasant places to be.

Care Will Be Personalized

Home caregivers provide a personalized touch. Our home caregivers often become friends with and develop kind relationships with the elders that they work with. This isn’t just a perk; it is an important part of what we do. We are here to make people’s lives better, and that happens through relationships.

In-Home Caregiving Is More Cost Effective Than Nursing Home Care

Generally, in-home caregiving is less expensive than placing someone in a nursing home with 24/7 care.

If your parent is in a house where the mortgage has been paid off, and the tax rate has been kept frozen out of longevity, then all you are paying for with a home caregiver is the care as opposed to the care as well as a roof over the head (like with a nursing home or assisted living).

These are just some of the benefits of home caregiving. If you sit down with your siblings to explain all these benefits (and more), it should help in getting everyone on the same page.

Need a Caregiver in the Chicagoland Area?

If you’ve had that conversation with your loved ones and everyone has agreed to a caregiver, contact Homewatch CareGivers. We deliver kind and compassionate in-home care services for seniors and anyone who needs. Our professional caregivers are extensively trained to provide world-class care with a human touch. It would be our privilege to help your parent(s) enjoy their senior years in their own home.

Interested in personalized, connected care from a qualified caregiver? View all our in-home services.