Taking care of an aging family member who’s still living at home, like an elderly parent, is both rewarding and tiring. When your loved one has a chronic illness, or is beginning to experience cognitive impairment, it further complicates the issue. In most instances an adult daughter who lives nearby serves as a parent’s primary caregiver. But at some point the burden of caregiving eventually starts wearing them down. Exhaustion or even caregiver “burnout” becomes a real possibility. If you are currently in this situation, one of the ways to prevent caregiver burnout is to ask your family members to share caregiving responsibilities. But getting family members to pitch in can sometimes be frustrating, and relationships can get permanently damaged if you’re not careful. In order to facilitate a smoother recruitment process, use these proven steps.

Consider the Family Dynamics

All families are complicated and nobody’s perfect. Understand that your siblings may not see things the way that you do, and that doesn’t make them bad people. Strained relationships and sibling rivalries are common. Try accepting all your siblings for who they really are. Consider your roles within the family while growing up. Each child probably had a unique relationship with your parents when they were younger that may have carried over into their adult lives. If you don’t see eye-to-eye regarding your aging parent’s needs, that doesn’t mean that a sibling is uncaring, irresponsible or lazy. Once you’ve considered these family dynamics, and how they might influence individual caregiver strengths and weaknesses, you’re ready to meet with your siblings about mom or dad’s care.

Hold a Family Meeting

Invite your siblings and their spouses over to your home for a casual conversation about how to share caregiving responsibilities. Let them know you could use their help. Refrain from trying to make anyone feel guilty because they could get defensive. Your siblings may respond with criticism or even avoid you altogether, and that’s not going to improve your situation. During this family meeting calmly cover these topics:

The Caregiving That’s Needed

Discuss the daily or weekly caregiving assistance your parent needs based upon your observations. This could include cleaning, laundry, meals, transportation, outdoor work or personal hygiene.

Ask Your Siblings for Help

When doing so, allow them to choose tasks that they would be interested in performing. You’ll get better compliance when you let them pick activities they are more comfortable with, or skilled at. For example, grown sons may be uncomfortable bathing or dressing their parents. However, tasks like yard work or household maintenance may be more in their comfort zone. Based on your discussion, assign specific duties for each sibling that match their strengths, weaknesses and comfort levels.

Try to Involve Everyone

Many hands make light work, and caregiving is no e