When it comes to caring for aging parents, everyone has their own ideas of what senior care options they think are best. More often than not, siblings disagree about what to do sometimes to the point of rendering them unable to speak to each other. Discovery Commons At Bradenton staff understands how difficult this process can be for families, so we’re happy to work with you to help determine the best course of action.
It is very helpful when the children work together as a unit to make decisions concerning their parents. When there is a dispute among the children, it can get really ugly for all involved – most importantly the aging parents. Here are some ways to avoid conflict between siblings when it comes to aging parents’ care often before it even takes place. It makes for an easier effort on everyone’s part and prevents a lot of unnecessary problems that may occur with differing opinions:
Talk to Your Parents
If you and your siblings open the lines of communication early, together you can talk to your parents and involve them in the process. Not only is everyone on the same page, but your parents feel like they are part of the planning – after all, it is all about them. On top of this, your parents may have cared for their parents so they have discussed what they want with each other and can now convey that to your siblings and you.
Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page
This is a huge factor when it comes to sibling strife about their parents. Everyone has his or her own ideas but if they are not out on the table for discussion, then no one gets anywhere and a major battle erupts. With Skype, email, FaceTime, there is no reason that everyone cannot take several minutes out on a regular basis to talk and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Determine the Exact Needs
Taking family discussions one step further, it is very important for everyone, as a group, to determine the exact needs of your parents. With technology, there are websites and apps that offer ways to keep all the necessary information in one place so that everyone knows their needs and who is handling which ones.
Spread Out the Responsibilities
Most residents in independent living communities still handle many of their own responsibilities. In the instances where they are unable to, many adult children spread out the responsibilities. One of our residents has not handled anything financial in years so her children take care of all of that for her. Her daughter who lives several hundred miles away pays all of her bills via the Internet while her son handles doctor visits and medications.
Think Before You Speak
Also called “filtering,” you always need to think before you speak. This one strategy can thwart a lot of unnecessary heartache. There are definitely things that simply do not need to be said so don’t say them or find a very nice way to express yourself. Unless you have a problem with something major that can adversely affect your parents, you should choose to “filter” or, simply put, be quiet (especially if you live out of town).
Start Making Future Plans
There is nothing worse than when something happens to one parent and the other parent has no clue about his or her own future. The adult children should have an action plan in their pockets ready to go so that their other parent is not in limbo. Not only does it provide comfort, it allows everyone to spend the immediate future grieving rather than in turmoil trying to come up with a plan.
Defer to the “Local” Sibling
This is probably the most important and easiest way to head off any disagreement. Instead of digging your heels in to be right and do it your way, defer to the local sibling since he or she is the one who deals with issues on a weekly, sometimes even daily, basis. You can compare this to that parent at school has all of the ideas but is never around for the work. Simply put – put up or shut up. The local sibling should have the final say – it is only fair and reasonable.