When aging parents begin to develop functional limitations or poor health, it’s time to discuss elder care if you haven’t done so already. Of course, if your parents are still mentally capable, they will make the decisions regarding their own assisted living services. But if you and your siblings are responsible for making these decisions, disagreements can easily arise regarding the best way to care for elders in Memphis .
Identify Underlying Conflicts
Before you can develop a workable solution for sibling disagreements, it’s helpful to assess whether there is an underlying conflict. Siblings have a shared history that may contain unpleasant memories and rivalries. It’s challenging to address complex needs like in-home care and siblings can readily revert back to their childhood roles. Have a frank discussion with your siblings. Acknowledge that family dynamics may not be ideal, but that mom and dad need everyone to be on board with their care plan.
Request a Neutral Assessment
Another effective strategy is to introduce the guidance of a neutral third-party such as a professional in-home caregiver. Asking for a professional assessment of your parents’ needs is particularly helpful when you and your siblings disagree about the type and extent of care services your parents need. Perhaps the sibling who lives closest to mom and dad understands that their personal hygiene and housekeeping have been neglected, but siblings who live farther away aren’t convinced that these problems exist. Professional guidance can help all of the siblings gain a clearer understanding of the needs of the parents.
Establish Open Communication
Another common sibling dispute regarding elder care plans occurs when one adult child feels that he or she is shouldering an unfair amount of the work. Perhaps the other siblings live too far away to provide care or perhaps they simply aren’t comfortable in a caregiving role. It’s important to communicate these issues openly, rather than let resentment build up. The sibling who is performing most of the work might ask the other siblings to pay for respite care, for example. It’s to be expected that the parents’ needs will change over time. The sibling who is closest to mom and dad should make an effort to keep the others informed of any major changes.