Caring for Elderly Parents – Checklist for Sibling Caregivers

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,131
    Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care breaks down how to make a checklist for sibling caregivers.

    Mary Alexandria: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today, I am discussing how to develop a checklist that can help siblings better manage the care of their senior loved ones.

    Step one, identify and list senior needs including what your aging parent has and will need to enable him or her to remain independent. Key needs include medical issues, housing, activities of daily living and end of life decisions including wills, advanced directives and long term care. Task to consider include meals, housekeeping, scheduling doctor appointments, transportation to doctor appointments and other activities, bill paying, grocery shopping and companionship. Step two, research your options to learn what is available to help you meet your senior's needs. There are many resources available such as caring.

    com, eldercare.

    gov and stagesofseniorcare.

    com. Reach out to your network of family, friends and church or civic groups. Find out what resources they have used and outside services they would recommend. What has helped them in caring for their aging parents?

    Step three; divide the care giving workload into tasks that will be met by family members and those that will be contracted out. When doing so, make sure each sibling has input in the process. Also make sure the tasks fit the needs, and abilities of your siblings as well as your senior loved one. List the tasks that those in your family will be responsible for it. Remember to keep the list flexible to meet the changing needs of your senior as well as the demands on your siblings. And designate someone to serve as the supervisor to manage, contracting outside services. Step four; promote sibling teamwork and decision making by setting up regular times to stay in touch. Options include family meetings, phone or email updates. Include these regular times in your care giving plan and they will go a long way in helping to avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding. But again, remember to be flexible to accommodate changing schedules. Make sure no one sibling is doing too much. If you are the primary caregiver, ask for help if you need it, if you are the long distance care giver, check in often and ask for ways to help the primary caregiver.

    Remember, that long distance caregivers can also help by placing online orders, bill paying, record keeping and appointment scheduling. And of course, they can assist with companionship for their parents via regular telephone calls, letters, emails and for some seniors, through Facebook and other social networking sites. So that's how to develop a checklist that can help you and your siblings better manage the care of your senior loved ones.