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Improving Family Dynamics by Acknowledging Caregiver Personas

When you first start taking care of an aging parent or loved one it can, we know from experience, be an unnerving, even scary process.

5 Overarching Caregiver Personality Types

Our research on caregiver isolation and family dynamics has yielded some insights on how the members of caregiving teams work together. We understand the challenges facing a client’s entire support system – particularly the spouse and the children. That's why our team of senior care experts recently decided to identify a set of personas that would help families understand the different roles played in a family care team.

We have identified five overarching Caregiver Personas. We’ve found that many family caregivers fall into one of the following types:

  • The Planner
  • The Camp Director
  • The Doer
  • The Dreamer
  • The Rescuer

It’s not an exact science, to be sure. But by beginning the conversation about which roles are played in the family care team, we can shed light on the important parts we all play and gain critical perspectives. That can help us understand one another and feel confident that we are, in fact, in this together.

Visit our Caregiver Personas Tool page to learn more about these five personality types.

Sibling Caregiver Personas

Caring for a loved one can highlight in dramatic fashion the way siblings interact.

The descriptions below take a more lighthearted approach to identifying family caregiver personalities. We hope they help family members open a dialogue and see things from another’s point of view.

Sibling Personas: 

  • The Ostrich: Things will get better if we just ignore it and wait. We don't need extra help. 
  • The General: We need a plan so I make the plan. 
  • The Worker Bee: If I don't do it, it won't get done.
  • The Wallpaper: You guys decide. I'll just be over here. 
  • The Lighthouse: But what does mom/dad really want? 
  • The Checkbook: Maybe I don't have the time, but I'll sign the checks. 
  • Old Faithful: Count on me. I'm always dependable, always the go-to.
  • The Butterfly: I fly in, let'em know I've done something beautiful, than I move on. 
  • The Chess Master: If I do this, it will pay off in the long run. 
  • The Wrecking Ball: I'll rush in and tear down what I don't like. 

Think about which of these personas you might identify with, and how that plays out in your family's team dynamic. 

Try asking your siblings:

  • Do the roles we adopted as kids help us or hurt us now?
  • Do current care responsibilities make anyone feel guilty or taken advantage of?
  • What does each of us think is best for Mom or Dad? Let’s look at every perspective.

Then join the conversation on Facebook to share your learnings and feedback.

Remember: We're all in it together.


Round-the-Clock Care for Your Loved Ones

Home Helpers® Cared-4 program covers every need to keep someone independent and comfortable at home. Our services include Personal Care & Companionship, Nutrition and Well-Being, Safety and 24-Hour Monitoring and Wellness Calls.