Siblings as Caregivers Struggle in the Hamilton Community

Hamilton is a close-knit community built on lasting bonds, ever-growing families, and small-town ideals. For those with developmental disabilities and other similar issues, Hamilton’s homecare and greater healthcare community is helping to extend lifespans and improve quality of life. However, a significant problem emerging is that siblings are struggling with the role of impromptu caregiver. Let’s take a look at some key reasons why.

A Shifting of Roles

The most significant impact on the life of a sibling is when the parents become older and unable to care for those of their children with special needs. Therefore, the role of caregiver often becomes the responsibility of a sibling of the individual in need of help. Usually, these responsibilities are performed alone with little help from the rest of the family — sometimes because loved ones don’t want to interfere and wish not to confuse or upset the individual being cared for.

An Emotional and Mental Toll

Those caring for a sibling often feel that they are entirely responsible for their welfare due to their relationship with one another. This can result in the caregiver neglecting themselves in order to do what’s best for their brother or sister in need of support. Taking care of oneself should always be prioritized to ensure that we are healthy and emotionally stable enough to look after a loved one if the need arises.

Many siblings can effectively feel shoehorned into a caregiving role that can be draining emotionally, physically, and mentally. Mental wellness is one of the most significant challenges Hamilton-area sibling caregivers face as a result of this increased pressure.

Stress Over Housing and Governmental Support

Simply put, waiting lists for housing are longer than ever, sometimes six or more years, with baby boomers entering their twilight years and more siblings suddenly assuming the role of caregiver while looking to support their own everyday needs. This shifting of roles represents a spike in housing applications as well as increased demand for financial relief through the government. The pressure can be enormous for siblings effectively trying to manage two households, with finances and sufficient support the most substantial stress trigger.

Hamilton is just one of many communities where siblings feel either pressured or needed to assume the role of caregiver. With proper support, increased assistance from the government, and the creation of more affordable housing, these struggles can become less common for everyone involved.

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