On another page in this section, I talked about respite care. I talked about how it can give you a well deserved break from caring for your elderly loved one. One way to get regular respite care is by sharing the responsibility of caring for your loved one with other members of your family. This is a good option because it won’t cost your family anything. Also, it will allow everyone in your family to spend quality time with and support your loved one. If you would like to transition into having other family members take on a greater role in caring for your loved one, here are some tips on how to do so.
Have a Family Meeting
Sit down with your family members and tell them how your elderly loved one is doing. Maybe your family hasn’t offered to help with your elderly relative because they don’t realize the extent of their needs. Explain to your family how your loved one is doing. Also explain what you do to take care of them. Then you can decide as a family how to share the responsibility of taking care of your loved one.
Make a Schedule
Beyond a vague verbal commitment, discuss everyone in your family’s schedules and when they can take care of your loved one. Come to a decision about this during your meeting. Maybe your brother has to work on Saturdays, so that is a bad day for him to be with your elderly loved one. Or maybe your sister is taking a night class and can’t spend time with your loved one at night. Consider these conflicts and work around them.
Help with Questions
If you have been primarily taking care of an elderly loved one, impart your knowledge on your other family members. Clearly tell them about your loved one’s needs and what you do to take care of them. This way, they won’t have to start from square one when figuring out how to best take care of them.
Plan Family Events
You and your other family members can take care of your loved one together during family events. Maybe you can have a family dinner together where you and your siblings cook and clean up your elderly loved one’s house – this way, your loved one does not have to worry about these things. They can also eat the leftovers from the party instead of having to cook for themselves.
Consider Alternative Options
If your loved one’s issues are progressing, home care provided by family members might not be enough. Consider hiring a home health aide or having your loved one live in a nursing home.
As you decide how to best care for your elderly loved one, it is best to be open and honest with your family. Having the support of your family members can help you through this difficult time. For more information on how to care for your loved one, check out the other pages in this section of our website.