How to Get Your Siblings to Help Take Care of Aging Parents

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Updated: June 17, 2020


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Of course your parents love you, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t elated when they found a sitter and could step out for some alone time. Later in life, these roles can sometimes reverse, and you may find yourself repaying the favor. There may come a time when you need a little help taking care of them.

If you’re wondering how to get your siblings to help take care of aging parents, we’d like to offer some insight.

First, you’ll want to schedule a time for everyone to get together. Make sure to plan what you want to say so the conversation stays on track. Be direct and honest with your request for help. Once everyone has had a chance to speak, determine who can handle which responsibilities.

Gather Your Siblings for a Meeting

While some children might choose to settle down close to home, others may move away. Regardless of the distance, you will want to schedule an in-person sit-down or video call with everyone attending.

Give everyone involved plenty of notice, but not too much, or they may forget. You should also be honest about what the meeting is about – discussing the care of your elderly parents.

Adding the meeting to your siblings’ Google or Outlook calendar is one way to keep them reminded. Another way to ensure the meeting is not missed is to send them a reminder text the night before.

Plan an Agenda

As the person who initiated the meeting, you’re in charge of preparing what’s discussed. By devising a plan as to which direction the conversation will take, you ensure that you don’t lose track. This will help keep the attention of your siblings and allow you to fully explain your intent.

These include things like health care, financial help, housekeeping, and transportation. Be sure to write down any specifics. Including the dollar amount spent, the time you invest weekly, and anything else that might explain why you need a little support.

Remember, the meeting isn’t about complaining, it’s about ensuring your aging parents receive the care they require.

Be Direct and Honest

Caring for aging parents is a sensitive topic that not everyone is comfortable speaking about. Regardless, approaching the subject should be handled directly honestly.

Your siblings might not fully understand how much work caring for elderly parents actually entails, both emotionally and physically. For this reason, speak up; inform them you’re struggling. Nobody can read minds, so you’ll need to explain to them what it feels like and how much time and effort it takes.

Give Everyone a Chance to Speak

There may be a lot of questions, which is great since it means they care and want to know more. Be sure to answer each of them with as much information as possible. Only by listening and discussing will they be fully aware of the situation.

Another nice thing about talking in a group is that suggestions can be shared from multiple perspectives. Perhaps you don’t get along with one of your siblings as well as another. In that case it’s helpful for others to join in.

Delegate Tasks Accordingly

If you have reached the end of the meeting peacefully, and everyone is in agreement to assist, then it’s time to delegate tasks. Be sure to take the location and availability of all parties into account.

The ones that know about medications can help with prescriptions and doctor appointments. Those who are savvy with documents and numbers can step in to assist with finances and legal issues.

Be sure to include your siblings that live further away as well, since they cannot give support in person. Be sure to assign them tasks they can handle online or over the phone, like scheduling appointments or calling in prescriptions. They also might be able to contribute monetarily, even if it’s just a small amount.

Families Stick Together

Isn’t that the most important thing? Thankfully, if you consider the steps outlined in this article, you will find yourself with a bit of extra free time. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your aging parents receiving the love and care they deserve.