3 Reasons Families Fight about Senior Care

DLSCaring for an aging parent, or elderly spouse presents tough challenges, particularly when a crisis hits and you are suddenly faced with the responsibilities of elder care. The absolute difficulty of the task, its high cost, as well as underlying family issues can bump to create a perfect storm of discontent. But when families put aside their differences and work together as a team for the best interest of their elderly loved one, they are often able to overcome this challenge.

Here are some reasons families fight about senior care:

Money Matters
Sometimes, special expenses ascend in regards to senior care that weren’t expected or planned. Other times, money just runs out. When this happens, families often fight about who should contribute, and how much they should contribute toward the costs for care.

Possible Solution:  A good way to resolve this is to have a family meeting with all members present, whether in person or by phone. All costs should be laid out in the open, and members should be honest about what they can contribute. The significant thing is not to judge or criticize.

Parent Resists Care
Sometimes the whole family is on board and decides that their parent needs care, but the parent resists any change, tooth and nail. It’s understandable; people loathe giving up any independence, and place it highly among those things in life they prize most highly.

Possible Solution: When you’re trying to encourage a parent to accept a move to a senior community, make it clear that you’re not trying to “put them away.” Help your parent know your concerns and that they come from love.

Power Struggles
Family members most of the time disagrees about the type of care needed for their loved one. Extreme differences also tend to come to the forefront when end of life issues are confronted.

Possible solution:  It’s vital to discuss the specific needs of your aging loved one, as well as their personal wishes. Then, your family can determine which option would provide the senior with quality care, comfort and happiness. During all discussions, it is essential to consider what each family member has to say, rather than acting out emotionally.

The most significant thing to remember with family relationships is that the only behavior you can truly control is your own. Understanding, patience, and forgiveness should be extended to siblings when a family is in crisis.

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