For many families, caring for an aging loved one can be a highly stressful period in the lives of all involved. The high cost of upkeep of their home, underlying family issues, and the sheer difficulty of such a task is more than enough to create discontent. However, by working together to establish common ground and agree that it’s in the best interests of all, families can often overcome these challenges. Here, we provide tips on how to get the entire family to agree on senior living.
If siblings have differing views about your parent’s needs
Siblings don’t always see things in the same way. One might think that your parents are fine at home, but another may argue that they need additional care that loved ones can’t provide.
Solution: A disagreement on how much care a parent will need can be resolved by looking for guidance. Arrange a visit from a nurse who has a background in eldercare assessments, which will determine your loved one’s level of safety. You may also look for guidance and information from your loved one’s primary physician so the assessment process can be as straightforward as possible.
If your parents resist a change in their care
When the adult children are on board to move the parents to senior living but the parents resist, it may be due to how much they value their independence and would hate to give it up.
Solution: When you want to persuade parents to accept the move to a senior community, let them know that you’re not “putting them away.” Help them see your concerns and educate them about the care options available. Show them that senior living communities these days are comfortable, attractive, and allow for a new sense of independence, which may convince them.
One sibling does everything
Often, the child living closest to the parents is the one who becomes the primary caregiver. And when other family members don’t actively help, the one who gives all the care may start to resent the other siblings.
Solution: The caregiving child shouldn’t be afraid to ask other family members to help. It may also be necessary to spell out what you need from your siblings, rather than assume they know what needs to be done. Explain the challenges and areas where you need them to help or contribute. You can even ask them to host your loved ones in their home for a few days so you can take a rest.
Caregiving while raising a family AND working
Around 60% to 70% of family caregivers are women, and a lot of the time, they will also be raising children AND holding down a career. Having to juggle all three jobs on a full-time basis can understandably make them irritable and burned out.
Solution: It’s essential to understand that caregivers in the family will have their limits and personal needs, so other family members must chip in to do their part and ease the burden. Other family members should offer to help care for the parents so that the primary caregiver doesn’t feel overwhelmed with everything else going on in their life. You can also consider arranging a family meeting so the family can reorganize and share in the care needed for your loved ones.
Every family member has their share of responsibilities, so open communications to ensure that everyone participates appropriately is essential. It’s not easy to care for elderly loved ones, so sharing the care responsibilities eases the load that would otherwise be placed on one single person.