Why is it that in so many families it is just one person who is providing the majority of the care? Statistically it is usually, but not always, is a female. And usually it’s the oldest daughter or the daughter who lives the closest.
So where are all the other siblings? If you are an only child, that is something you have no control over. But where are the other siblings who have been raised by Mom and Dad, but don’t seem to have any sense of responsibility when it comes to assisting Mom and Dad in their older years or through their Alzheimer’s or dementia?
Why is it that one person provides personal care, pays the bills, takes Mom & Dad to their medical appointments, goes to the grocery store and the pharmacy? Where is everybody else?
Non-caregivers will tell us they don’t have time… they have their own family…they are working full time… they have a stressful job… their kids are in sports every day… they want to remember Mom or Dad like they used to be… emotionally they can’t “handle” it.
Unfortunately, what the non-caregivers don’t realize is that they are modeling behaviors for their own children that will impact them directly in their later years. Their children have seen them walk away from their grandparents… showing lack of care and lack of respect for their grandparents’ needs. Do the adult children really think their own children are going to be there for them in the future?
How simple would it be for sibling #1 to agree to be responsible for paying the bills? And sibling # 2 to share the responsibility of taking the parents to their medical appointments? And sibling #3 agreeing to pick up the groceries and meds for the parents? Can a teenage grandchild mow the lawn or help with laundry? Could another grandchild sit with Grandma so Grandpa can have a break?
Our society has gotten so caught up with filling our calendars with activities that many have forgotten that family comes first. If your family is sharing the care for your Mom or Dad as they age,.. congratulations and keep up the good work. It may not be easy, but in the long run you will be glad you took the time to return the love and care that was once given to you.