When elder care services are required by mom (or dad), there are a lot of things to be done and hard decisions to be made. Will all of the elder care services be provided by an agency that is hired to send an elder care provider to the home? Or will the family members provide all the care mom needs? Perhaps a combination of both hourly home care and family care is the best solution.
What are some issues with shared responsibility?
- It’s difficult to share responsibilities exactly equally.
- Some siblings may live too far away to help out in person.
- Some can help financially and some can’t.
- Siblings may squabble and not agree on what they think is fair or equal.
- Some siblings may not want to do their part or have any responsibilities at all.
Strategies for sharing elderly care duties between siblings
If the siblings can work together to come up with a plan that is agreeable to everyone, then that’s the ideal situation. Here are some arrangements that have worked for real families; they can be used as-is or adapted. What’s important is that there is a plan:
- Divide the elderly care responsibilities up into categories, such as: legal matters, medical issues and physician visits, shopping, maintaining the house, arranging for hourly home care or in home care providers, etc. Each sibling is in charge of one or two categories.
- Take turns by days of the week to go into the parent’s home and assist them for a few hours or the whole day. Take turns by days of the week to sleep overnight with the parent for night supervision. These can be in conjunction with paid home care.
- The parent moves in with one sibling and the other siblings share all other responsibilities, including coming to the home to stay with the parent while the primary family caregiver goes on vacation.
- Decide together all the issues that need to be addressed regarding the aging parent’s home care needs and then decide how to divide the responsibilities. Keep the same responsibilities until the end of the parent’s life or rotate on a yearly basis.
No matter how the responsibilities are divided up, remember that mom took care of you when you couldn’t, and now she needs you to take care of her when she can’t do it for herself. Meet with all the siblings and agree on what is best for mom. If you want to be personally involved in her care, a combination of family caregivers and paid elderly care providers who help mom in her own home is a common and efficient solution.
For more information on the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit that helps senior veterans pay for in-home care services, or if you have a general question about VA Home Care, please don’t hesitate to call Veterans Home Care at 888-314-6075