When it comes to the care and well-being of a loved one, the decisions that must be made among family members is a naturally very emotionally-charged one. Everyone wants what is in the best interest of that family member, yet may have different opinions as to what this is.
If you or someone you know is struggling with resolving family conflict over caring for an aging loved one, there are advice and resources that can be immensely helpful to reducing this conflict. Here are some great places to start!
Bring Everyone to the Table
One of the first steps to resolving family conflict over your aging loved one’s care is to bring everyone involved “to the table.” What this means is having everyone sit down together, ideally in person, to have a calm and mature conversation regarding all issues that could impact your decision. Pick a neutral setting that feels comfortable and welcoming. To help facilitate conversation, you might even want to put together a basic agenda that will make sure discussion stays on the most important topics.
Have Conversations Early and Often
Another important piece of advice is to have these types of conversations early and often as your loved one approaches the age or need to have someone professionally care for them on a regular basis. Having such conversations in a time of panic or emergency is far less productive and far more stressful than if you have them well in advance so a plan is in place.
Determine Your Decision Maker(s)
Even with frequent and productive discussions surrounding the care of your loved one, it can still be challenging to arrive at a final decision as to next steps unless there is someone who is the agreed upon decision maker. Consider what friend or family members is in the best position to take on this responsibility. Their role is to then facilitate discussion, listen to all opinions, research and present options, then guide everyone involved toward a mutually agreed upon solution. Having this designated “leader” will help resolve conflict and enable important decisions to be made efficiently and confidently.
Finally and most importantly, don’t be afraid to seek professional mediation from someone who can step into a tense situation and provide clarity. When a family is at odds over choosing the best method of care for an aging loved one, it can tear relationships apart – temporarily and even permanently. Before it comes to this, it is well worth the effort to seek professional mediation so that relationships are preserved and a sound decision can be reached in a reasonable amount of time.
Are you or someone you know struggling over making decisions for the future of an aging loved one? This can be one of the greatest challenges a family will face. Should you need input and advice, Ella Home Care is happy to explain the benefits of in-home care so you can make an educated decision for your family. Contact us today for a friendly conversation!