The Care Giving Roles and Working with Siblings

fourkids (2)The number of tasks involved when you are a care giver will change over time. I am one of four children in my family and the only one that lives near my parents.  Being the only local child means there are some responsibilities that are going to be mine — but my siblings and I have figured out how to share the load.

My parents are in Assisted Living and able to speak for themselves on their likes and dislikes. However, I believe our involvement will only enhance the quality of care they receive. Their acute medical issues will be addressed and I know they are safe. However, I visit at least twice a week to see how my parents are managing and how they are doing.

I previously wrote about my Dad and his flirtation with a wheelchair. Neither parent mentioned it to me when I called, but did to my brother. When I called the Assisted Living unit, they said my Dad was not in a wheelchair. However, when I visited the next day, my Dad was using a wheelchair. I made sure they knew of our interest to keep our Dad on his feet. In some cases, individuals with dementia will forget how to walk, and if that happened, we knew it would mean a new level of care for my Dad, most likely, in the Skilled Nursing unit (and separate from my Mom).

I’m extremely lucky. I have three siblings that are involved and will jump on a plane when I need help, or will make phone calls and manage different aspects of helping manage my parent’s estate and needs.

However, I thought it would be helpful to write-up some of the tasks we have broken out and divvied up between us. Shared. 

Care Giving Role Duties  Name of Sibling
Physical Provide or support activities of daily living (dressing, feeding, bathing etc.) and ensure safety.
Medical Manage the medical needs, doctor visits and medications. Coordinate with various doctors and follow-up on issues and concerns. Healthcare directives, Medical Power of Attorney, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)
Personal / Financial Manage bill payments and cash flow as well as knowledge of legal documents and locations. Will need Financial Power of Attorney, be on bank accounts.
Investment Understand and manage the investments and other financial assets.
Legal Manage legal review of documents and if different coordinate with Personal / Financial to ensure documents in place and timely.
Historian Collect, organize and archive photos, letters, family keepsakes.
Realtor Lead decisions on property and manage vendor selection and transactions.

Please let me know if I missed any or if you family found another was to manage these tasks.

7 thoughts on “The Care Giving Roles and Working with Siblings

  1. Great list which makes me tired. That list was my whole last two years I think. Having a lot of this checked off and Mom in a facility has eased the load tremendously. Good post.

    1. Thank you. My next list will be all the stuff you still have to do after they move into a facilty — even a GREAT one! Let me know if you have any thoughts on that topic!

    1. Thanks – we have our moments of disagreement, but pledged early on to unite in order to best serve our parents. We know everyone can’t contribute equally and work through those issues. At a business meeting I attended a few years ago on collaboration between major corporations, one of the panelists suggested we always give our partner the assumption of good will. It makes many items easier to handle and to discuss. When you detect a fault, if you enter the conversation with the belief that the other individual was operating on good faith – explaining why what they did was so difficult, uncomfortable, insensitive easier.

      I hope you find peace in the role you can play. It’s difficult already and more so if you are managing alone.

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