As we grow, our opinions and views are shaped by our life experiences. Different generations can have different perspectives, and family conflicts can often arise. While these disagreements can be minor, they can cause further issues when caring for aging parents.
The key to overcoming these disagreements is to remember that your family members are on the same team. You need to work together and make compromises so that your parents receive the care that is right for them.
With locations throughout Alberta and British Columbia, Origin Active Lifestyle Communities can help your family navigate through this. We have gathered a few tips on what to do if you and your siblings cannot agree on how to handle caring for your aging parents.
Discuss Care Options Before You Need to
One of the most essential elements of caring for aging parents is to talk through your options before the need arises. By doing so, you, your siblings, other members of your family, and your parents can openly share thoughts and opinions. When you plan ahead, more options can be considered, and your parents can have a stronger voice in how they want their care to be handled.
Trying to make long-term care decisions under pressure can bring its own set of challenges. Stress levels are high and strong emotions may cloud judgement, creating an atmosphere of high tension where disagreements will be blown out of proportion. Furthermore, when a decision needs to be made quickly, care options become more limited. The options available on short notice may not fit into the preferred plan of action.
Let the Past Stay in the Past
It is not uncommon for individuals to hold grudges from childhood into their adult years. For example, a younger sibling may feel like they always got the “short end of the stick“ growing up because an older sibling “always got their way.” Whatever the case, leaving the past in the past is the only way to work together to create a care plan for your parents. Whatever happened between siblings or family members in the past shouldn’t play a role in the future of your parents’ well-being.
Put Everything in Writing
Caring for aging parents requires a lot of planning, and a lack of organization can cause frustration. Trying to remember which family member is responsible for certain tasks inevitably leads to confusion and, in some cases, tasks not being completed. Write down each item that needs to be accomplished, who is responsible for getting it done, and share it with everyone involved.
Having a care plan in writing can minimize confusion. When every task is available for all family members to see, it eliminates a future argument of one person taking on more responsibility than another or someone being accused of not contributing.
Seek an Outside Opinion or Help
If your family cannot come to an agreement, it may be time to seek an outside, unbiased opinion. For some, the personal emotions involved can make it too challenging to see the situation clearly. Seeking a third-party who can evaluate your parents’ situation and recommend specific resources is an efficient way to overcome this obstacle and be guided in the right direction.
Revisit Your Plan of Action Often
Over time, your parents’ care needs may change. You may find yourself in a new situation, so it is important that your family works together and reevaluates the care plan periodically. Unexpected circumstances come up; as health needs change, so should their care plan.
You and your siblings have a common goal: caring for your aging parents. Remembering this can help your family get through the minor disagreements and conflicts involved and work as a team. Our team members at Origin Active Lifestyle Communities work hard to ensure that community members receive the personalized care they need and are offered opportunities to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.
For more information on our communities, or the services we offer, contact a member of our team.