Caring for late in life relatives – 5 ways to work with your siblings

Providing care for your later in life relatives can sometimes prove to be strenuous on your relationship with your siblings. Your siblings or other relatives can provide great support but at the same time be a source of stress. Here are our tips to better collaborate with your siblings during these times.

1. Accept them for who they are

Families are complicated and far from perfect in the real world. There are no “rules” for how one should feel. If they feel differently from you about a certain matter, it does not mean they are bad people. If you are able to accept this, you are likelier to get support from them and less conflict.

2. Do not over simplify

Nobody is always right, sometimes it is ok to step back and let others make decisions. Each person has a different relationship with the person who requires care and each person’s outlook is going to be different.

3. What do you really need from your siblings

First, you need to ask yourself whether you need help. Many caregivers say they need help but end up discouraging it through their behaviour. Make sure you know the answer to this before trying to take over and keep everything under control.

4. The role of emotional support

On the other hand, compared to the previous point, many caregivers are quite content with asking for help, but would prefer to have more emotional support from their siblings. The best solution for this is to be open about it and do not assume your siblings are not interested. Sometimes they can seem careless and it can hurt.

Remember to ask for what is realistic and make sure you are direct and specific. People are more likely to help if you ask them in a nice way.

5. Do not use guilt or anger

At all times you should avoid asking for help by making people feel guilty about their behaviour. People can get defensive and uncomfortable when this happens. This is likely to push you apart and the people who will be on the receiving end of this at the end of the day are those who need the care.

Be careful of your tone and language and remember what is important.

These are just 5 of our tips, but there are many more. Remember that whatever comes between you and your siblings should not affect your loved ones negatively. If you would like to learn more about care homes and what they can offer for your loved ones go to our help and advice page.