Families must often work together to make care decisions for loved ones. Sharing caregiving and financial responsibilities can sometimes lead to feelings of inequity, and concerns over aging parents and family members can stir raw emotions. This combination can make communication among family members a difficult process.
If family members such as siblings cannot agree about parental care decisions, the following tips may be helpful to work toward a solution and better communication:
Call A Family Meeting
Get together and talk to each other face-to-face. Be open and honest, and try to remain calm. It is much better to have a truthful conversation in person than to assume what the other parties are thinking. If getting together in person is impossible due to time or place restrictions, use electronic options such as Skype or FaceTime to see each other while you are speaking.
Enlist Third-Party Help
When disputes need a neutral outsider to defuse tensions, mediators can be extremely helpful. Family counselors and advisors who specialize in senior care issues can help walk families through pressing concerns over a conference call or in a meeting. It may be easier to come to a consensus when working together through a third party.
Let It Go
In the end, we only control our own behavior. Take care of yourself by doing what you feel is best for your loved one and care for yourself with healthy stress management techniques when conflict with family members weigh on you. If at all possible, try to let go of anger and resentment toward family members and work toward peace. Taking the high road might be hard, but the peace of mind and release of anger may be well worth it.
At McKnight Place, we are here to offer support and guidance to our residents’ families and also to those seeking assisted living and skilled nursing care. For more information about our community and some valuable resources that may be of help, click here.