Primary Caregiver to an Ill Spouse or Parent Also Needs Support

Son or husband primary caregiverWhether it is your elderly or senior parent or a local sibling who is the primary caregiver to your parent, they need support from you as well. In the U.S. millions of family members take care of a mother or father who has a progressive degenerative disease – COD, Dementia, Heart Disease, Parkinson, Alzheimer’s, ALS, M.S. or some other disease.

 A Division of Labor Helps

It is a family situation and each member has some filial responsibility. Typically though, the outsized chunk of caregiving falls to the well spouse or a local sibling – adult daughter.  They will need respite time – a break.  At PHHC we recommend families divide up responsibilities, each to his or her strength. One sibling is in charge of the medical, another financial and so forth. Money and time can also be a huge help. The Hiring of an aide or caregiver even once a week for a few hours allows the primary caregiver time to him or herself and assists with laundry, cooking, companionship or taking the ill parent out. You may also wish to use funds for Day Care once or twice a week.

The biggest commodity is time. Siblings, when able can arrange with the primary caregiver to come in and help – not take over. You can combine your stay in South Florida with fun and caregiving.

Love or Obligation?

Ideally families can work out schedules between them. Remember, caring for your ill and well parent is your focus. Past grievances must be worked out or put in a box.  Coming in for a long weekend is meant to help, not rearrange everything and criticize the primary caregiver on their performance. Temper suggestions with understanding first why things are as they are or being done the way they are being done. Whether caregiving is done out of love or obligation, respect for each family member adds to a spirit of comradery and purpose.

Time also encompasses staying in contact — not a text or email but calling your parent or sibling to let them vent, update you on the situation or just take their minds off of their situation.  Regular calls are mini breaks and add to the well-being of your family caregiver. It gives them EMOTIONAL Support which goes a long way in making a tough situation, more bearable and pleasant.





Son or husband primary caregiver