It’s hard to ignore that your mom’s struggling to keep up with activities of daily living. She forgets to take her medications. She’s wearing the same clothes. Her fridge is full of expired foods. You’re worried. Meanwhile, your siblings feel you’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re frustrated and can’t figure out how to get your mom help when no one seems able to agree.
Ignoring your mom’s changing needs is not a solution. You need to work together. It may seem impossible, but here are ways to make it work.
Never Let Your Mom Divide You
Your different roles in childhood may lead her to treat you differently as adults, too. Your mom expects more care from her female child because she grew up when women stayed home and filled the role of caregiver. Your mom looks at the males in the family to take care of the car, plumbing, and yard work. It may be stereotyping, but it’s a common problem.
Don’t let your mom’s expectations create problems between you. Make sure you’re all on a united front and have clear expectations of each sibling’s role in family care. If your mom’s unhappy with the arrangement, explain to her why you made that group decision.
Don’t Look at Roles You Filled as Children
Your eldest sibling may have been the leader while you followed. Don’t fall back to those roles. You have strengths now. You might need to take the lead and set up appointments with doctors and specialists to determine what care your mom needs. Don’t wait for your older sibling to get to it.
Jump in and arrange the appointments, even going to them by yourself if that’s what it takes. Gather materials and share the information on a spreadsheet that every sibling can access.
Plan for the Future
Your family may be looking at your mom’s immediate needs, but what about the future? It’s important to consider future needs when you’re discussing caregivers. If your mom has Alzheimer’s, she may be fine today and able to take showers alone. Months or years from now, she will change and find it impossible to do things that were so easy for her. She may start to wander. She’ll struggle with incontinence. You need to consider these needs now and have a plan in place that everyone approves of.
Your Mom’s Care is Most Important
Make sure your mom’s care remains the most important factor. Caregivers work with your family to make sure your mom is cared for when you have to be at work. Caregivers can help with cleaning, cooking, and transportation. Talk to our home care agency and learn more about the duties caregivers tackle to ensure your mom’s daily routine is completed safely and correctly.