Talking To Siblings About A Parent’s Care Needs


It’s common to have anxieties as families begin to explore home care options for their parents. Talking with your siblings and loved ones about the need for care is important but can also bring up a lot of emotions as this is a highly sensitive topic. Addressing these challenges in a calm, informed and empathetic way will help make the transition and ongoing discussions easier for everyone involved.


Here are a few recommendations we suggest:


1: Avoid blindsiding your sibling(s) by being clear and upfront about the topic you wish to discuss.

  • Schedule a day and time to meet, preferably in person, as the non-verbal communication that takes place is an important aspect. Therefore, trying to make these decisions via phone, email or text is not recommended. Also, be mindful of the location. Pick a place where you can have privacy but also is not threatening or triggering.

2: As you prepare for the meeting, gather documentation that you feel will help support your reason for your parents need and plan for care.

  • You do not want this conversation to turn into an argument, so being prepared with clear evidence and in a ‘matter-of-fact’ way can help the conversation from turning purely emotional.

3: When you meet, try to find common ground with your sibling(s).

  • Is there something you can agree on? Of course there is: you love and care for your parent(s). Therefore, having this discussion should be set up in a way that you are all on the same team effort, not a battle.
  • Diffuse defensiveness by using “I statements.” Clearly explain the situation from your perspective and without ‘pointing fingers’ and placing blame on others. If you notice yourself starting a sentence with “You said” or “You did/didn’t,” then take a moment to pause and rephrase your thought with as “I statement.” For example “I feel” or “I need.”
  • Be respectful, open minded, and repeat back what you hear the other person saying for clarifying purposes and also to show your attentiveness. How we present our thoughts and feelings makes a difference in the direction and effectiveness of a conversation.

4: There should be a goal for the meeting that is clearly stated. This way concrete accomplishments are set and worked on and everyone has a clear understanding of next steps.

  • Assigning specific tasks and goals and setting dates to accomplish needs will help to keep things progressing in a positive direction and provide some purpose and feelings of achievement for everyone involved. Often an important conversation is started and then left without further discussion or action. Keep the momentum going and be proactive and goal oriented as much as possible.

5: Remember that each family, each situation, and each family dynamic are unique. You’ll need to do what’s right for your family.

  • The amount of involvement your parent will/should have in the decision on their care should also be considered.
  • It’s normal to seek help and support in all healthy functioning relationships, so as much as becoming vulnerable and admitting help is needed can be difficult, it can also be so relieving and fulfilling to commit to this approach.

6: Finally, be mindful of any specific family dynamics that might attempt to play out in an unhealthy way. Avoid falling into childhood roles and holding on to grudges.

  • Approached these conversations from the perspective that you are all on the same side, even when you don’t feel like it, you are all striving towards the common goal of the best possible care for your loved one(s).

The sooner you start these conversations, the sooner you can make a decision and begin getting get the help you and your loved one deserve. If you need a place to turn for suggestions, call the team at Caregiver To You; we’re ready to help.


Caregiver To You In the Community


Modesto Walk to End Alzheimer’s


The Caregiver To You team for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is still raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association!

To contribute to our effort, click here ( or see more opportunities below.


The 2021 Modesto Walk to End Alzheimer’s has already raised over $100,000, but we’re still about $15,000 away from our goal, so we still need your help! The walk itself was in October, but our goal includes all funds raised anytime in 2021!


Here are some other ways to support the cause:

New for the 2021 Walk Event was that the Walk Committee for Modesto got a new member: Our CEO Jeremy Matthews jumped right in and took charge of the setup and logistics for the event. Jeremy was so instrumental to the success of the event that he failed to take a single picture of his own to share on our page!


Committee members met monthly, and then weekly as the event date approached. They planned fundraisers, recruited and tracked the progress of Team Leaders, coordinated vendors and sponsorships, and worked to make sure that the day itself was successful.


If you would like to donate, attend, or even help plan the 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s, reach out to Jeremy directly at 209-222-3797 or


Self-Care Tips for Caregivers


Nurses. Teachers. Even fast food workers. All of these people are considered at high-risk for job-related burnout. But Caregivers are seldom mentioned on these lists. Since most Caregivers are Family Caregivers, they aren’t paid, so burnout statistics aren’t readily available.


But paid or not, Caregiving is a job. And it’s one that comes at an incredible personal toll to all who have made a lifestyle of it. Hopefully more recognition, like the President’s Proclamation that November 2021 is National Family Caregiver Month, will elevate the plight of Caregivers and provide more resources to those providing care.


In the meantime, we’ll elaborate on the 10 tips from one of our favorite resources: The Caregiver Action Network


  • Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
  • Finding a local support groups is a great opportunity to connect and identify with others who are experiencing many of the same challenges. Check out the resources provided by Valley Caregiver Resource Center, or a resource center in another community supported by the Family Caregiver Alliance
  • Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  • When a lifeguard enters the water, they are trained to make their own safety first priority, because if the lifeguard becomes incapacitated, who saves them both? Caregivers must take the same approach.
  • Take care of your health and personal care needs by keeping regular doctor’s appointments, getting your flu shot and other vaccinations, and exercising regularly. Talking to others and spending at least a few minutes outside each day can also help relieve stress.
  • “To avoid burnout, Dr. Albert Einstein sat in a tub and watched the bubbles. No one could talk to him. He was thinking and watching the bubbles. To reduce your risk of burnout, take a few minutes every day to have quiet. Even three minutes a day will make a difference.” Dr. Mary Donohue, Founder of The Digital Wellness Center
  • Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  • The key word here is SPECIFIC!
  • Have you ever said to someone “If there’s anything I can do, let me know.” And did they let you know? They usually don’t. But people who say this usually DO want to help, they just don’t know how!
  • Accept offers of help by giving specific tasks, like covering while you run to a specific appointment, picking up a specific list of necessities, or cooking a specific


  • Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  • This video from the Caregiver Action Network explains specific recommendations, like
    • How to keep track of a the care team
    • How to communicate effectively
    • Keeping a current medications list
    • What questions to ask regarding insurance and billing
  • Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
  • Skipping over your own health appointments and self-care needs doesn’t help anyone. Respite Care Services can be arranged by Caregiver To You (LINK), Valley Caregiver Resource Center, or for income-eligible individuals in some counties, by an In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program.


  • Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
  • WebMD and the Mayo Clinic have excellent articles to help identify the causes of Caregiver Depression and possible solutions, but if you are experiencing signs of depression, it might be time to reach out to your physician. According to WebMD, if any of the following symptoms are severe or last for more than 2 weeks, it’s time to get help:
    • Feeling empty, hopeless, or run down
    • Little interest in activities you once enjoyed
    • Irritable
    • Trouble concentrating
    • Weight loss or gain
    • Changes in your sleep pattern


  • Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  • There are multiple ways in which technology can simplify your job as a Caregiver. Here are some of the best tools you should consider:
    • TeleVisit Options for an appointment with the doctor or Caregiver To You.
    • Home Automation Tools like a Ring doorbell, door locks and surveillance cameras with motion detection.
    • Emergency Response Systems like Amazon’s Alexa Together or Aloe Care Health
    • Motion Sensing Tech from an Alarm Service like Ring or a standalone chime or device.
    • Medication Reminders or Dispensers
    • GPS Devices – Check out this list of recommendations from the Senior Link Blog.


  • Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
  • Our experience is that the most important document to keep handy for all appointments is a current list of medications that includes the dose and frequency of administration
  • It’s also helpful to keep a single list of health care providers, or to have a business card holder to keep track of the contact information for your current health care providers.
  • Make sure legal documents are in order.
  • Which documents you need will vary from person to person, but the following documents should be in order for anyone who has or needs them:
    • Power of Attorney
    • Advanced Medical Directive
    • Will and/or Trust Documents
    • Insurance Policies
    • Social Security Payment Information
  • Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
  • Paid or not, Caregiving is hard work, and one of the most noble choices any individual can make. Caregiving is worthy of respect, and you should take price in your role as a Caregiver. Thank you for what you do.


The Post-Pandemic Career of Choice


Being a Caregiver is more than a career. It’s a personality trait. Caregivers have made the meaningful choice to focus on the needs of others while so many seem focused on themselves.


According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index Annual Report, “The data is clear. Extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace. Employees want control of where, when, and how they work, and expect businesses to provide options.”


Working for a Home Care Organization like Caregiver To You Addresses all three of these points, giving employees control over

  • Where they work
    • Employment opportunities exist throughout the country, giving Caregivers the flexibility to work in virtually any city in the world. Caregivers can also choose which assignment to accept, giving them control down to the neighborhood in which care is needed.
  • When they work
    • Caregivers get to make their own schedule and have the flexibility to provide care when it’s convenient for them. The need for Caregivers is so high that they can work almost as much or as little as they want.
  • How they work
    • Not only does Caregiving provide opportunities for advancement and even some tele-work options, but Caregivers can also select only the assignments which offer the types of work they are comfortable providing.


In addition to these perks, Caregivers who are employees of a home care organization can avoid the pitfalls of being an Independent Contractor.  Caregiver employees already have most of the perks associated with independent contracting, especially control of their schedules and workplaces, but also have all of the perks of employment, not the least of which are employee protections like unemployment insurance, discrimination protections, and even minimum wage requirements.


And independent contracting isn’t as profitable as it seems. According to the accounting experts at Acuity, if you’re an independent contractor, “You also now have the administrative burden to make sure you are paying 15.3% to Uncle Sam for Medicare and Social Security taxes. As an employee you pay half of this, but when you are an independent contractor you are the business, so you must also pay the employer costs. Saving up for these expenses quarterly can be a tough transition for some.”


If you’re interested in starting a career as a Caregiver, reach out to Caregiver To You. We can help you get started, or just put you in touch with an experienced Caregiver who can answer your questions.


The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.” ― Carson McCullers, The Square Root of Wonderful