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Sharing Caregiving Responsibilities for Your Older Loved One

Walker Methodist | Jun 6, 2019

granddaughter hugging grandma in kitchenWhen a loved one needs regular care, it can be difficult to delegate care responsibility throughout the family. We all have busy schedules, but we also care for our older family members and want to be there for them. The daily responsibilities can be stressful, so it’s important to be open and honest with your family about what you can and cannot provide in terms of time and care.

The good news is, if you have siblings and other relatives, you don’t have to do it alone. Even if you’re the only one who lives nearby, there are tasks you can delegate to others to share the  . Here are a few tips to help you share responsibilities among family members.

Make a List

The first step toward dividing responsibilities is to take a full assessment of what care is needed. Any conversation you have with your siblings or other family members will likely bring up that question first. As you review the list, determine which duties will have to be done by those who are nearby. Meal preparation and daily personal care, for instance, has to stay local, while making phone calls to insurance companies or managing finances can be handled remotely.

Call a Meeting

Once you have your task list in place, schedule a meeting with everyone who can help with caregiving tasks. If you’re all meeting in person for a holiday, you’ll have the perfect opportunity for an in-person get-together. But you’ll probably have to set up a conference call. Have an agenda in place ahead of time and try to keep everyone on track. Make sure everyone has input on who should handle which tasks but be prepared to assign tasks to those who aren’t volunteering. Make sure you schedule regular update meetings in the coming months and years.

Get Help

Family members don’t have to handle everything alone. There are more opportunities than ever to line up regular transportation, have meals delivered, and even arrange for someone to drop in and visit during the day while you’re at work. This can be a financial burden on one family member, but if you can get everyone on board to pay a portion, you’ll probably find that it’s much easier to set up these services.

Resolving Conflict

Unfortunately, things won’t always go smoothly, even with the best intentions. If conflict arises, make sure you emphasize the importance of putting your loved ones first. Any old resentments should be set aside for the sake of taking care of someone who cares about you all. It may become necessary to bring in a mediator who can manage these conflicts without having a personal investment in things.

It can be challenging to get a group of family members to agree on helping care for a loved one. But it’s important to schedule those meetings and keep everyone involved. You’ll benefit from sharing the responsibilities and your loved one will get the necessary daily care.

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