When Families Feud, Elderly Parents Lose

Like most things in life, things can become overwhelming and stressful when going through the aging continuum either directly or indirectly. If you add in fighting and disagreements with the very people who are supposed to be helping than you have a recipe for disaster. Caregiving is no different and, combined with the emotional tax; it can simply be too much at times.

Some of the things that you might find yourself disagreeing tend to be the basics of caregiving. Figuring these out as soon as possible will alleviate some or most of the stress.

Financial Disputes — A lot of the time, caring for elders can be very costly. Medications, respite care and basic necessities are some of the things that need to be taken care of. If they are never discussed, one person might start to take a lot of that on which could lead to resentment.

Burden of Care — Even more basic than figuring out finances: who’s doing what? This is especially important because a lack of communication could lead to forgotten prescriptions and missed appointments. Delegating will spread things out more evenly.

Deciding Capabilities — Can Dad drive? Should he drive? Does he still want to? These are questions that need to be answered before a person is behind the wheel. Disagreements could lead to confusion for the elder and the family.

43 percent of youngest children say they have the closest relationship with their parents, while 70 percent of oldest children describe themselves as the responsible ones and 40 percent of middle children as the peacemakers of the family. Knowing what each person’s strengths are will help you figure out the best role for everyone. If splitting responsibilities is still too much, then it might be time to consider respite care or some outside help in general.

http://www.caregiverstress.com/2010/12/did-mom-like-you-best-research-reveals-birth-order-role-in-caregiving/
Posted on April 29, 2011