Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Help Aging Parents: When a Sibling Often Feels Like an Only Child

Some gentle questioning led to Mary’s explaining that her sisters usually took their dad to his doctor appointments. And they did offer to do things for him when the mood hit them. For example, one sister asked if Mary would like her to take their Dad to a meeting of his men’s club. “I told her it was OK, I’d do it,” Mary said, explaining that she was “so used to doing it, it really didn’t make any difference.”

And that’s where the red flag goes up.......

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 caregiver siblingX caregiversX less-involved siblingsX reasons to accept helpX reasons to show appreciationX showing appreciation. accepting helpX uninvolved siblings

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When Does a Sibling Often Feel Like an Only Child? Answer: When She (it's usually a "she") is the Caregiver for Their Aging Parents

As I've mentioned on several occasions, the head of services for the elderly at a family counseling agency once told me that the child who would be caregiver for her/his aging parents could be identified early on--"the other children weren't so involved." It took me by surprise. Nevertheless, although my husband and I moved far from our families, I always knew I would be there for my parents when the time came.
Does this negate commonly-held beliefs that children take on the caregiver role for other reasons? (guilt, the realization parents did for them and it's payback time, the good feeling that helping others imparts, this sibling needs a life etc. etc.)
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I returned home Sunday to a front door that would not unlock (from outside or inside), the smell of gas due to a pilot light that went out, and a car that wouldn't start so I was carless, with a large accumulation of mail. I'm very behind in my life......So please ponder the question until tomorrow when I'll apply it to real life as I complete this post.  And go to http://helpparentsagewell, my other site, to view it more fully.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our Quest for Perfection When We Try to Help Parents Age Well--2

Should we give up expecting perfection?
"Is it culture or our psychological make-up that causes our stress and regret? Do we, perhaps, place unrealistic expectations on ourselves– especially when we feel responsibility for aging parents?"
These are the questions posed to Senior Advisor, psychiatrist Dr. Bud, after writing last Tuesday's post. Thoughtfully explaining some of the emotional obstacles that can block even the most devoted adult children's quest for perfection, he begins.....

continued on my other site: