Caregiver Agreement -Roles and Responsibilities

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How to deter family disagreements and caregiver burnout for the usually one person taking care of aging parent

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As I paged through hundreds of discussions on the caregiver burnout forum, it has come to me that maybe a lot of these problems could be headed off with an agreement with the siblings before the one person took in the parent as to how and who is going to handle the roles and responsibilities of the aging parent.

These things are usually not discussed in detail at the time and later when the caregiver starts to go through burn out the other siblings seem to be MIA. Now I know people can go back on your word but it seems to me people will more likely be willing to all pitch in if there is an understanding at the time. This is done in the business world all the time as an excepted practice.

In our situation we did not do this We have had MIL for 14 years. There was not much involvement in the beginning with the other sisters and just did not think too much about it and always thought when she needed more care, they would be there. Boy were we wrong. One sister lives 20 min the othe 40 min. So no travel hardships. They are too busy with their children ages 27-33 and other one has one has grandchildren, ages 8-13. Her 87th birthday was last Friday. They did call and wish her a happy birthday.......but that was I would like to see you, take you out to lunch, or for weekend. The youngest daughter has not seen her mother since Dec of 2015 for 2 days and before that it was a year. She said she is comfortable with her and her mother's relationship. The other one takes her to the hairdresser once a month, which mother-in-law has guilted into doing.

When I ask for help, I get "well you took her" or "no, I cannot see where you need help, it's not like she is not in diapers".

So maybe if we had an agreement and they were used to taking her, then we would not be in this boat!

My husband will send a letter, one last ditch effort, and we are also looking at assisted living and respite arrangements. I am sure many other people are going through same thing.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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