As parents begin to age, they might need extra care and support to maintain a healthy and happy life. This might be a little bit hard for you or your siblings to provide due to other responsibilities and commitments that call for your attention. In a case like this, getting an external hand to provide this care might be the best idea. This requires having an intensive discussion with your sibling before deciding on the best parent care option that is suitable for your parent.
Discussing the care your aging parent needs with a sibling, however, can come with a series of challenges as siblings are likely to often disagree about how to help their parents adjust to health changes that might make their day-to-day activities challenging. Here are some tips on how to start a discussion with your family and hopefully come to a peaceful conclusion that would be beneficial to everyone, including you, your sibling, and your aging parent.
Carry Your Parent Along
When this kind of discussion is being held, parents tend to be forgotten by their children. Understand that your parents’ participation is essential because the decisions you and your siblings make directly affect them. Allow them to voice their opinion, but also be honest regarding their options. Your parents’ opinions can also help you and your siblings move forward with decisions. For example, If your parents are interested in an option, such as moving to a retirement community, then it’s easier for you to begin looking for the right communities with the right amenities that would be suitable for your aging parents, instead of continuing to argue among your siblings. Encourage everyone to be a part of the process- including reading the contracts, understanding fees, and visiting communities.
While holding a discussion on your parent care, try as much as possible to avoid arguments and see from each other’s perspective. Listen to your sibling’s concerns and allow them to share their opinion. Beginning discussions about your parent’s care with an argument doesn’t lead to a productive discussion. If you disagree with a suggestion, such as moving them to a retirement community or hiring an in-home nurse, express it in a logical, non-confrontational manner and provide an alternative option.
Keep Each Other Informed
when discussing care options for your parents, it is important you ensure continuous communication especially if you both live far away and are only able to keep in touch through long-distance communication. Leaving siblings out of discussions can lead to more frustration and arguments. Ensure you always keep your sibling updated about the development and other necessary information that is needed about the option for are considering for your parent.
Get a Professional Involved
Due to family dynamics, counseling might be a suitable option for talking to your siblings about your parents’ care. Getting professionals like family mediators can ease tense situations or disagreements, while also helping you and your siblings communicate better about your concerns or opinions. Mediators can also hold sessions over the phone through conference calls, which lets them talk to you and your family regardless of where you reside. Many areas have geriatric care managers who specialize in helping families navigate the many options and services available.
Some family counselors specialize in the area of care for older parents. Their expertise can help your family members share their feelings in a productive and considerate manner and also provide suggestions for your family’s concerns.