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Parents are 80 and 81. Financially comfortable but not "wealthy". 6 adult children 5 of us work full time. All relationships healthy & loving.1 couple has children still in school. Need to organize/manage each of our skills sets & match them with parents' needs. Already some guilt for me (I have a chronic illness/limited energy). I'd love to be doing more but have to "put on my own oxygen mask before assisting...." as they say on airline flights :-) Mom has more severe health issues and is prone to anxiety & depression. Want to gradually step-up support and still protect their personal dignity.

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Youve no need to feel guilty hun so dont let that demon in. When you start to plan your time make it clear that you can perhaps do the shopping on line for them. Perhaps you and your family can manage the laundry between you and pay bills - that is a huge chunk of help believe me. make sure you include them in the planning if you can then write it down on a big board so that not does everyone know what they are doing and when they are doing it but that your Mum and Dad do too which will alleviate some of your Mum's anxiety. Remember not to take everything away from them - they will still be able to do some things for themselves. If you cook for your family you could always do 2 extra portions and freeze them so your M&D have food ready to microwave if they are able.
So A list of they can do and are willing to do.
A list of what is left to do or they feel they cant do
Engage outside help which they can pay for, for anything the family doesn't want to do or doesn't have the time energy or enthusiasm to do - mine is the garden love to see it looking good - hate weeding so we have a man who comes in
Then divide the rest.
Suggest to your M&D that they have the whole place redecorated - that will give your siblings a chance to weed out all the things they dont need any more and it will make everything much easier to keep clean (if that's within their budget)

6 of you should be able to manage them between you so dont feel guilty be the one who leads the planning for the future campaign xxxxxx
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Planning together is a great beginning!

In our family I was the one who couldn't fully participate in Mother's care. I was too busy caring for my husband with dementia and supporting us. My sisters and one brother took up the majority of tasks and I helped out when I could. Now that my husband has died I am back in the care loop for Mother. One brother cannot participate regularly because he has been fighting cancer (successfully!) for a few years.

The thing is, each family member is unique and has special skills, abilities, and needs. If one of your siblings were in your situation, would you be mad at them? Would you think they should feel guilty? How about my brother with cancer -- should he feel guilty? The family with young children is going to have more schedule constraints. Should they feel guilty?

When you sit down to plan responsibilities, think in terms of what each can reasonably do, given their current life situation. This is not about everyone doing an "equal" amount. And task levels do NOT equate to levels of love! Also recognize that some tasks can be hired out. Your parents can hire a house cleaner, for example, and/or a yard maintenance firm.

Guilt seems to go with the territory for caregivers. But PLEASE don't go into this feeling guilty already for things you can't help. If each of the six of you does what you can do, even if it is more from some and less from others, it will be enough.
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Well you're at the right place for lots of discussion threads about taking care of elderly parents. I'm not sure what your exact question is.

I'd recommend that you sit down with your siblings and start to map out what help your parents need now (grocery shopping, trips to doctors' visits, medication preparation, laundry, bill paying, handyman chores, etc) and then figure out who can do what when. Understand that their needs will probably change over time.

If you can't do much hands-on care maybe you do the bill paying (get them set up for online/automatic bill pay) and order refills for their meds, and/or fix their meds for them weekly. Down the road, they'll need more and more help - I assume they're living in their home? Get Powers of Attorney for healthcare and property set up and signed. Make sure they have wills in place. Down the road (probably way down the road), as their health declines, consider Do Not Resuscitate orders for them.

Good luck in keeping everyone happy and on task. If you can make it work without hurt feelings, arguments and stress, you're the unusual family. But it sounds like you're starting out well! If you have specific questions, please pose them and you'll get lots of good help from fellow caregivers who have lived what you're now starting to face.
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