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A sibling’s guide to caring for aging parents | PBS NewsHour

Gretchen is a wife, mom of 2 daughters, co-host of The Happier Podcast, She uses her platform to help others find their happiness, create good .. And I realized that for a lot of these challenges, habits really had the solution, you know ? . If an Obliger wants to meet an inner expectation but is struggling. Our Scouts always find the coolest mom and baby gifts and products and they update us They've always got the latest version, the smartest solution. Cowboys cheerleader), Gretchen now runs her own boutique consulting Read more. It can't be the love solutions girl because he says once he got his mothers number he called her right away. Honestly in the first episode when.

Even if they live far away, siblings can help with finances, can provide virtual companionship to your parent with frequent phone calls and Skype, or can provide occasional respite or substitute care. Keep communication lines open. Tips for gaining the support of your siblings Accept your siblings for who they are.

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Not everyone thinks, feels or acts the same way, especially when a situation is this emotionally charged. Be aware of how you ask for help.

Their reaction will be defensiveness or anger. Likewise, making siblings feel guilty may lead to resentment and tension that will not be productive in solving the problems at hand. Figure out what you really expect from your siblings. Do you think they should provide more hands-on care? A day or week of respite? If other relatives or friends are willing, ask for help from them or from religious communities your parent might have been involved in.

Check for resources in your community. When people offer to help, say yes. If what you really want is recognition and appreciation from your siblings for all that you do, you can ask for that. You also need to express your own gratitude when you do get some help.

Seek advice from someone outside the family. A mediator, social worker or geriatric care manager may help get past long-standing emotional roadblocks, family competition, controlling behavior, denial, or other issues interfering with successful resolutions.

Conflicts over legal, financial and inheritance issues. With Durable Powers of Attorney or an Advance Health Care Directiveyour parents can designate who will be in charge if they become incapacitated. Sometimes this creates tension among the adult children. If at all possible, this should be discussed at a family meeting and clarified for everyone concerned.

An advance directive will outline the types of care that your parent desires at end of life. With this information in writing, a difficult situation is made a little more tolerable. Some families compensate the primary caregiver for their work, particularly if he or she has cut back on employment to care for their parent. How much the compensation is and who pays it can be covered in a Personal Care Agreementwhich is a written contract. And, while as many as two-thirds of the caregivers in one national study used unpaid caregiver help, more than one-third used paid help.

The number of individuals using paid long-term care services in any setting for example, at home, in residential care such as assisted living, or in skilled nursing facilities is estimated to double from 13 million in to 27 million people indue to the growth in population of older people who need care.

What type of care is available? Generally, two types of care in the home are available: If your family member requires regular assistance with health care needs, home health organizations and skilled nursing agencies may be the best choice for you.

They can provide a range of medical services, such as medication assistance, nursing services, physical therapy and medical social services to coordinate care among health care providers. For example, Medicare will cover limited home health care for home-bound beneficiaries who need intermittent skilled nursing or therapy services as prescribed by a physician.

Many families, however, have to pay out of pocket for home health care services. If your family member needs help with daily activities and personal care, such as household chores, meal preparation or bathing, or is just in need of companionship, you likely are seeking in-home care services, rather than home health care. In-home care helps with everyday activities. The costs for these services and the eligibility requirements vary. Often, you will have to hire someone from an agency or an individual provider and pay out of pocket.

In some communities, volunteer organizations may be able to help. While Medicare will not pay for these services, Medicaid government health insurance for low-income people — this program may go by a different name in your state, such as Medi-Cal in California covers limited in-home care or chore services for those who qualify.

You also may be eligible for caregiver support services including caregiver assessment and planning, respite, education. Should I hire an agency, an individual or both? At this point, you have the option of hiring an individual directly or going through a home care or home health care agency.

In some states, publicly-funded programs may allow you to hire another family member to assist you in providing care at home. A personal recommendation from a trusted relative or friend is often the best way to find a quality paid caregiver or agency. In the absence of a reliable personal recommendation, try one of a growing number of online private duty matching services online, contact your local Area Agency on Aging to ask for organizations who publish a Caregiver Registry or Nursing Registry in your community, or check with your personal healthcare provider for recommendations.

Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree that to be happy we need strong relationships. Not just buddies that we can talk about the office with, but people where we can confide, we feel like we belong, we have intimate, enduring bonds.

So, anything that deepens your relationships or broadens your relationships, is very likely to boost your happiness. A lot of times relationships take time, energy and money. Make a plan to meet another family at the park. Join or start a book group. It could be a book swapping group. If you don't have time to read, you could just swap books and talk about books.

There's all kinds of things that people do. A friend of mine wanted to start a book group for people who read People Magazine. If people don't have time to read right now, like you say, pick something that everybody's excited to do, because what's important is that you're getting together and that you're having that consistency. So that's one thing to think about. Take time to call your parents. Take time to stay in touch with old friends. If everybody's trying to get together in Boston for Columbus Day, really make an effort to get there.

Strengthening relationships really is something that boosts our happiness in the short-term and also in the long-term. And I found it actually really surprising that you mentioned and other experts and philosophers have found the same, that friendship was the biggest contributor to happiness.

I don't know, it just really surprised me. Maybe it's just my season and that's okay. Having coffee with a friend before the week starts. I mean it totally changes the way things go. It is so important to invest in those life-giving relationships on top of your marriage and your relationship with your kids.

And so, I guess it's just maybe something that us moms in this young season are not really thinking about. It feels like a little bit of a back-burner issue. But I think it's all relationships, not just your friends. But, I think you're right and I think it's good to realize that there are different seasons of life and that certain things aren't possible right now, but they might be possible later.

So, maybe right now you can't be in a book group, but you should be alert for when maybe you could. I could get up and go for a walk every morning because my kids can get themselves up and dressed by themselves. It turns out I don't have to be here every moment. So, one comment that I see over and over and over again in what I do is the topic of self-care and pursuing happiness in that way. This happened the other day. I felt that nagging feeling that you need to be alone.

I need to be alone. And I hadn't been in a long time. All of these social things had happened. I homeschool my kids so they're always here. I avoided it for two weeks and I just kind of snapped, meltdown, not my best self. But I am just flooded with messages every time. I feel so self-centered doing that. So, this goes directly to my most recent book, which was called The Four Tendencies, which divides people into Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels.

And what it has to do with is how you respond to expectations. Outer expectations - like a work deadline - or inner expectations - like my own desire to keep a new year's resolution. Most people can tell what they are just from this brief description, but there's a quiz on my site, Gretchenrubin. Upholders readily meet outer and inner expectations. They meet the work deadline, they meet the new year's resolution without much fuss.

Questioners question all expectations. They'll do something if they think it makes sense, so they're making everything an inner expectation. They tend to resist anything arbitrary, inefficient, unfair.

Obligers readily meet outer expectations, but they struggle to meet inner expectations. When I was in high school, I was on the track team and I never missed track practice. Why can't I go running now? Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner. They want to do what they want to do in their own way, in their own time. If you ask or tell them to do something, they're very likely to resist.

What is the best strategy for taking care of your aging parents at home? | PBS NewsHour

So, I want to come back to Obliger. Obliger is the largest tendency for both men and women and whenever anybody's talking about self-care, whenever anybody's talking about not being able to put themselves first, whenever anybody's talking about other people's priorities, that is a huge flashing light saying that you're talking to an Obliger, which isn't surprising because that is the biggest tendency for both men and women.

So many, many, many people in the world are Obligers and here's the thing. I think it's the most important thing from my Four Tendencies framework of everything that anybody's really responded to. If an Obliger wants to meet an inner expectation but is struggling, which by definition they are. They are not having trouble meeting the work deadline. They are not having trouble showing up for Carpool. They are not having trouble responding to the friend's email, but they are not able to go to the Yoga class.

They're not able to spend an hour reading on the sofa. They're not able to go get the massage even though they got a gift certificate.

The solution, the one thing that works, the absolutely crucial but very easy to provide solution, is outer accountability. To meet inner expectations, Obligers must have outer accountability. So, if you want to read, join a book group. If you want to exercise, take a class, workout with a trainer, workout with a friend who's annoyed if you don't show up. Think of your duty to be a role model for other people. Think about your future self.

Well, Gretchen right now doesn't want to do it, but future Gretchen is going to be so disappointed. That's what can work for Obligers. But what you were talking about is something called Obliger Rebellion. It can be things like ending a year friendship, getting a divorce, walking out the door and going to work for a competitor.

Obligers who are in Obliger Rebellion, feel resentful, taken advantage of, unheard, like expectations have just become too burdensome. It's meant to protect Obligers just the way it protected you. You needed that solitude. You were starved for silence. You had to get it. I'm out of here.

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It exploded you out of your everyday life. But it can also be very destructive because a lot of times Obligers don't feel in control of it. They will compare themselves to like a volcano erupting or a balloon bursting. It can often seem inexplicable to other people.

If you didn't want to do it, what did you say you would do it? Why didn't you just say this is what you want? Obligers themselves will often say that they feel like they're acting out of character. They don't understand why they're responding in the way they are and they're often very relieved to realize that there's a word for this - Obliger Rebellion.

It's a very, very common pattern. It has a good side and a bad side. It is definitely something, though, that should be paid close attention to. It's an important warning sign. It can be very helpful, but if it goes too far it can have negative consequences. People who are Obligers or are around Obligers want to watch out for that feeling of building resentment, building anger, building feeling like it's all too much, because once Obliger Rebellion starts as far as I can see as I keep talking to Obligers about their experience of Obliger Rebellion it seems like it just has to run its course.

Once it starts, you can't shut it off. It just goes until it's done and it can go a long time. Sometimes it's short, sometimes it's long. That is so interesting to me. And you just addressed like every mom. Why isn't this more out there? Why isn't this more talked about? That was really profound. I know a million people who are exactly like this. I've seen this all the time. I just didn't know it was a thing.

Or this is just my private pathology. I didn't know other people felt like that. A lot of Questioners are like that and so now I don't take it as personally.

Because maybe I just want to understand what's happening to me better. I'll link to that book for you guys who are listening and I'm definitely going to pick that up.

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I think that could be really powerful too for raising your children. That doesn't make sense to me; I quit. I just wanted to know there was a reason here. You know Rebel children - they want to do what they want to do in their own way, in their own time.

Like you have to wash your hands after you use the potty? You absolutely do not have to do that. But there's ways to deal with that very effectively, once you understand how they're approaching the world, which is very different. Like as an Upholder, the Rebel type is like the opposite of mine. It's very hard for me to understand the rebel point of view. But now that I understand it, I see how there's so much power there. I've learned so much about everything from understanding how Rebels see the world because it's the opposite of the way I see the world.

It's blown my mind wide open. I think it really can help, especially when there's conflict. Oh, well, maybe there's a very simple explanation. Yeah, and we get so caught up in our own minds, our own bubbles that we only see the world the way we see the world.

I love getting outside of that box and opening up your worldview and your perspective to other people. It's mind-blowing every time. Are you familiar with the enneagram? We aren't huge fans of the Myers Briggs. I feel like there's some things that didn't really fit us.