When it comes to caring for a loved one, everyone wants what is best. However, even the best of intentions can, at times, conflict with other ideas for what is best for a loved one. It is these conflicting ideas and a few other reasons why families may sometimes fight over the best care approach. Here is out list of 10 reasons for why families may fight or disagree about senior care services, and our advice about how to prevent these possible disagreements from derailing your loved one’s care.
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Just like growing up with siblings, adult siblings don’t always see eye to eye on things. One of the siblings may believe that their parent is just fine and is getting along rather well. The other sibling may believe it is time to look at some ‘light’ homecare options to help an aging parent around the house. In this instance, one possible solution could be spending more time around the aging parent and taking close note of any limited mobility or ranges of abilities. Asking questions about how a parent is feeling can also be a great way of getting 1st hand knowledge of how that person feels.
Another possible solution for when siblings disagree about how much care a parent may need, or about whether the parent needs care at all can be by seeking expert guidance or getting a professional opinion. Siblings can arrange a complimentary visit from a nurse with a background in elder care assessments to see if the older loved one may require additional care. Seeking information and guidance from the senior’s primary care physician is also wise as they will have the most current information, as it relates to the current health of an aging parent. Clarification from healthcare professionals can help answer most questions and help suggest any preventative steps along the way.
Sometimes, as a family, people get together and decide that additional care services will absolutely be in the best interests of an aging loved one. However, sometimes those decisions are reached without any input from the individual whom will be receiving the home care services. In this instance, there may be a situation where the parent or loved one resists any ideas of home care services.
When discussing home care services with an aging loved one, it is important to stress that this is not something that should be done because the loved one is incapable of taking care of themselves. Instead, home care services are a way to help preserve as much independence as possible, while only schedule the types of care that are truly needed. Help the loved one understand your concerns and that this decision comes from a place of love and compassion. Information can be gathered to use to educate a loved one on the benefits of senior home care services. Your parent may fear the worse or that they are going to be sent to some dreadful and distant institutional situation, while you have something much different in mind.
When a family gets together for the common purpose of finding care for their Mom or Dad, in many cases the siblings resort back to old social roles from childhood. This can bring a lot of dysfunction into what needs to be a well thought out approach to finding the best care possible. Old sibling rivalries have no place in the discussion when deciding if home care services are going to be the best care option for a parent.
The best solution is to stay positive and remain mature throughout the entire process. Letting old differences cloud judgment may lead to something getting missed or unaccounted. Keeping a clear head will serve everyone well. Keep things objective and make a check list of all the important things that the aging parent will need. Then, weigh the pros and cons of all the available options and choose the care option that most closely matches the care needs of your Mom or Dad. Encourage everyone to remain caring and dignified the entire time and you’re sure to find the best home care option for you.
In most cases, the child that is the closest with the parent is the first to notice when that aging parent needs additional help. Typically, in cases like these, the child will assume and care for the aging parent as much as they possibly can, but when it gets to be too much they are the sibling that recommends looking into home care services. All too often, the sibling who has been there the entire time for the parent gets “left in charge” of finding some kind of option, which ultimately creates limited communication about all of the care options and the cohesive decision amongst all the siblings. All siblings should volunteer to do ‘their part’ when finding and assessing care options for an aging parent.
Siblings should never feel ashamed to ask each other for help and siblings should always try to help each other when they can. If a sibling would like to share the idea of home care services with another sibling, they should make a list or outline to discuss all of the reasons why they believe their parent would benefit from home care services. Outlines and lists are the easiest ways of sharing complex information in an organized way to your siblings. Allow all the siblings to share ideas, ask questions, and bring to light any areas that they have. Geographical distance/proximity may limit a sibling from physically taking part in this process. These siblings may be able to contribute in other areas, such as by paying for caregiving related bills.
Sometimes, rather than being left holding the bag as the only sibling trying to find a care solution for Mom or Dad, there are siblings that don’t want to allow any of the other siblings to have a say in how care is provided for an aging parent. This leads to the bossy child getting total control over the care plan that a parent is receiving, regardless of other siblings’ feelings toward the home care services.
It’s important, as a sibling, to understand the difference between when proper care is being provided vs. just feeling left out of the loop. If the care that is being given meets all the needs of the aging parent, then it leaving a sibling out of a particular decision may not be intentional or malicious. However, if the care is limited or not best provided and a sibling feels there needs to be more done and that opinion is being ignored, then that is a problem. One way for a sibling to get their opinion heard is by striving to maintain a close and ongoing relationship with the parent and the caregiver. By staying in touch with details of the care plan, a sibling can make sure that the parent is receiving adequate levels of care.
As with anything, home health care services come with a price. Unlike many things, when families get together to discuss home care options, splitting the check can get confusing. Understanding how much healthcare is going to cost, deciding how it is going to get paid for or who will be contributing to payments all needs to be figured out before beginning homecare services. This ensures that there are no gaps in payments or in coverage for an aging parent when they need it the most.
Open lines of communication amongst all the siblings and parents is essential to avoiding any conflict. Not all siblings will necessarily be able to contribute as much, financially, as other siblings. But there may be other ways to provide time giving care to an aging parent to make up some of the differences. If siblings are going to be splitting the cost of their parent’s home health care services, it is important to have a group meeting to discuss the payment situation immediately. Real goals need to be established for how much the cost will be, when payments will be expected, and what a comfortable monthly budget will be moving forward. Understanding what each sibling can afford on an individual level will help you to establish a realistic budget for the collective sums. When these decisions are made in the open, with everyone at the table, future conflict is less likely. Fairness is always a big concern and so contributing a percentage of a sibling’s salary can be a fair way to make sure each sibling is paying the same percentage of contribution to the aging parent’s home health care services.
The majority of siblings that choose to care for an aging parent are females. Often these female siblings are in the process of raising their own kids as well. Caring for an agent parent and caring for a family at home can become very tiring and often times siblings in this position can find themselves burnt out. It is important to recognize how much time providing care for an aging parent can be and for other siblings to chip in wherever they can to avoid any burnt out family members.
It’s important to recognize that while siblings can seem like rock stars, nobody is super human and everyone needs time to rest and recover. Everyone must do what they can to ease the burden. Offer to help care for Mom or Dad, or your loved ones children, so she can have some time for herself. It may be helpful to create a chart or a schedule to avoid spending too much time caring for others and not caring for yourself. Nobody should be afraid to ask for help. Consider arranging a family meeting to discuss any scheduling needs.
Caring for an aging parent can be challenging, so caring for two aging parents can sometimes provide double the challenges. When both aging parents need care at the same time, the physical and emotional cost can be overwhelming. Even more so, when each aging parent has their own particular restrictions, like one suffering from Alzheimer’s diseases and the other from limited mobility. Providing both parents with their specific levels of care can prove impossible. Home care services can be invaluable at this time because it means each of the parents can stay in the privacy of their own home and get the specific care that they need.
Working with a home health care provider, like B-Homecare, is important in situations like these because each parent can have a care plan created for their specific needs. Getting to stay in their own home also is beneficial to each of their levels of independence, and in cases of Alzheimer’s disease it is best when people are in the most familiar environments.
Siblings often have conflicting ideas about care options when it comes to end of life care. One sibling may want to look into hospice care and another sibling may feel like each day is increasingly harder on a aging loved one. These conflicts can be avoided when aging parents and seniors write a living-will and take direct part in their care planning. All decisions regarding end of life wishes can be taking into consideration during the planning process.
Participating in creating a care plan for end of life is important to avoid conflicts in families. Knowing how Mom or Dad would like things to happen should be the most important decision. Respecting these final wishes on how they would like to be cared for is important.
If you would like to learn more about how B-Homecare can help you or your loved one, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You are not committed to any services by speaking with one of our knowledgeable staff. We would be excited to be help you to learn more and welcome the opportunity to try to help!
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