When aging parents need at-home care, devising an effective caregiving plan is always complex. There are many difficult choices to be made, and navigating the financial, legal, and personal issues can cause familial conflict. Here are six tips for addressing common family caregiving conflicts.
1. Be Understanding
Aging parents are living longer than ever before, and the adults now tasked with caring for their parents don’t have a roadmap to follow. Every family is different and needs to forge their own caregiving path. However, this process can be rife with conflict, especially if families are unprepared to manage this generational transition. Many adults have difficulty facing the knowledge that their parents are aging, and it’s little wonder that emotions run high when siblings discuss caregiving options. When discussing these difficult subjects, try to approach one another with compassion. Recognize that feelings of anger and sadness are heightened by the situation, and try to forgive each other if conflict arises.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Discard Old Roles
In many families, each member has a set role: the responsible older sister, the smart brother, or the funny younger sibling. Even as adults, these established family dynamics tend to persist. In times of crisis, don’t be afraid to discard these old roles and reexamine what your siblings have to offer. As adults, the responsible sister may not necessarily be best suited to the role of primary caregiver.
If none of your siblings are able to take on the role of primary caregiver, consider hiring a professional home caregiver. Orlando home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
3. Create Boundaries
When a senior’s health takes a sudden turn, family members often take on certain caregiving responsibilities. Perhaps the sibling who lives closest to the parent takes care of the physical and medical needs, while the sibling who lives across the country takes care of financial matters. If these roles are adopted without discussion, it can breed confusion and, resentment. Make sure to specifically discuss the role each member of the family will play. The primary caregiver shouldn’t be afraid to set specific boundaries. Hold family meetings regularly to ensure the division of labor continues to be acceptable to everyone involved.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Altamonte Springs, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
4. Recognize When to Step Back
If tensions get too high, recognize when it’s time to press pause on the dispute. If you’re resorting to unfair generalizations and criticisms or experiencing emotions that aren’t commensurate with the topic at hand, step back from the argument. Emotional arguments are unlikely to resolve anything, and it’s always better to return to the issue later with a cool head.
5. Resolve Differences of Opinion
Oftentimes, conflict arises because siblings have different opinions on the type of care their parent needs. Some siblings may overrate their parent’s needs, while others won’t be able to accept that their parent now requires full-time assistance. In some cases, siblings may disagree about which medical treatment is best or about the ideal allocation of funds. To resolve disagreements, gather as much information as possible and keep the lines of communication open. Professional opinions from doctors, lawyers, and caregivers are essential.
6. Be Specific About Your Needs
If you’re the primary caregiver and want more support from your siblings, be specific about the type of help you need. If your family isn’t familiar with your daily responsibilities, they may not understand what kinds of help would make your life easier. Before a family meeting, draw up a list of specific tasks you’d like help with, then assign them while everyone is present.
Managing an aging parent’s care alongside other important responsibilities can be overwhelming. The type of home care Windermere, FL, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time. Call us at (407) 232-7155 to talk to one of our friendly representatives.