Taking care of an aging parent can take a toll on you personally, but it can also take a toll on your family. If you have siblings, the responsibility of taking care of your parent can be divided amongst the siblings or handled by just one. In either situation, a family conflict can occur. Arguments over the type of care that’s administered could lead to resentment and tension. No matter the conflict, there are a few actions your family can implement to help resolve problems. Here are a few steps you and your siblings can take.
Call a Family Meeting
The first key to resolving any type of conflict is good communication. Having a family meeting can be an opportunity for you and your siblings to have a frank discussion. This is the setting to express any issues or concerns. A family meeting is also a great time to exchange ideas or possible solutions. If the situation is already tense, it might be helpful to set up rules beforehand. At the beginning of the meeting, suggest making a rule that no one can interrupt someone while they are speaking. This will allow everyone to be heard and respected. Your family may even create rules concerning how often you meet. A weekly or even monthly meeting could allow each family member to stay aware of your parent’s needs and wellbeing. If you find that family meetings only escalate conflicts, it may be time to seek a professional’s help.
Seek Professional Help
If family meetings aren’t successful, seeking a neutral third party may be your next option. A family counselor or mediator can see your family arguments for exactly what they are without the emotional context. Mediators can settle differences between siblings and help family members express their feelings. Some senior care centers have counselors that specialize in senior care issues and can help build consensus.
Take the High Road
In any conflict, there is only one thing that we can control. No matter what arguments you may have with your family members, you can always control how you respond. When responding, try not to hold on to anger or resentment towards a sibling. Sometimes it’s best to not reply when a family member says something hurtful. Walking away from a heated conversation rather than getting the last word in may be what you have to do. In the end, no matter how the situation turns out, you will have a sense of peace knowing you handled it the best way you could.
Lessen the Burden
CareFirst knows the issues that families can face when taking care of a parent. If the stress of taking care of parent is becoming unbearable for your family, it may be time to get help. Contact us today to learn about our services.