Many people evaluating the care efforts of a family caregiver who has siblings are likely to think that person is lucky because of the built-in help their siblings provide. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Often family caregivers are the only ones in their family who are actively caring for their loved one, and even if they have siblings, those siblings may not be involved in the care at all. This can be extremely frustrating and stressful for you as the family caregiver, but in some situations it can also put you in the crosshairs of criticisms. Your siblings may be all too eager to step forward and make their opinions known about the type of care you’ve chosen to give, the types of care tasks you offer, or others. This criticism can be deeply upsetting and negatively impact your well-being as well as your care for your parent. Being able to respond effectively to this criticism can preserve relationships and improve care.
Some ways you can respond to sibling criticism about your caregiver efforts include:
- Talk to them directly about their criticism rather than using your parents as a go-between. This is particularly important if your sibling did not express this criticism directly to you and instead you heard it from your parent. It is always possible that there was a miscommunication and you don’t want to create a void or damage your relationship with your sibling based on something that was not said properly. Talk to your sibling about their criticism and encourage them to communicate with you.
- Let them be involved in your senior’s care for a day. Having your sibling shadow you as you care for your parent can give them a precise insight into what you are dealing with on a daily basis. Doing this might give them a better perspective on why you made certain decisions, why you do things the way you do them, or other ways their criticism was unfounded. This not only eases the stress of the criticism but also gives your sibling the opportunity to offer help.
- Ask them how they would do it. If your sibling is criticizing how you choose to care for your parent in specific ways, ask them to share with you their way of fulfilling that need. You may find your sibling doesn’t have an alternative, or that when they try to come up with them they realize that your choice was right in the first place. If they do offer you a suggestion, consider it and determine if it would actually be better or if you should keep on doing exactly as you have been.
- Give recommendations for how they can help. Tell your siblings that if they don’t think you are doing well enough, they should do something as well. Give concrete examples of the ways that they could help and let them decide how to progress.
Starting home care for your senior does not mean you don’t care about your caregiver role or don’t want your parent to receive the best care. Quite the opposite, having an in-home senior care services provider be involved in your parent’s care can be one of the most nurturing and beneficial decisions you can make for them. This type of care provider offers dedicated and personalized care to your senior so they are able to live their best life. This means managing health issues through medication reminders and healthy lifestyle support, help with personal care needs and taking care of their home, and services designed to promote independence and engagement in the world around them. These services mean your senior does not always have to rely on you and is able to feel more control over their daily life. It also promotes better health and more effective management of all their care needs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregiver services in Smithtown, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.
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