Health & Beauty

Carelink: Take A Load Off, Sister

Tips for sharing the caregiver role with siblings

By Meredith Hale, Outreach & Marketing Manager, CareLink

Caring for an aging loved one, especially your parents, can be tough. Add siblings to the mix and everyday can seem like a battle. Between struggling to get your parents to do what you say and getting brothers and sisters to share the load, being a family caregiver can be the hardest thing you do.

Talk with your family before determining who gets to do dishes and who gets to do the heavy lifting.

Choose someone to be the primary caregiver. If you are not equipped to be the main caregiver, let someone else take the lead if they have the time and abilities.

Talk about strengths. Find out who wants to do what, i.e. dishes, bathing, lawn care, etc. You’re more likely to help if you don’t completely dread the task at hand.

Create a schedule. Only available on weekends? Share it with your siblings. Although it doesn’t guarantee you won’t ever be asked to help during that time, it does mean your family knows when you are available. As well as identify timeframes when help from an organization might be needed.

Work together. At the end of the day, working together to give your parents the best care you can will have a more positive impact on their ability to age in place. If you ever find yourself needing a break, call in reinforcements. Caregiver burnout is very real and can take a major toll on one’s mental wellbeing.

CareLink, a local nonprofit and Area Agency on Aging, provides resources like respite care and Meals on Wheels to help older people and their families overcome the challenges of aging. For more information about CareLink and how they can be there for your family, call their Information & Assistance department at 501.372.5300 or send an email to

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