The demands of taking care of a loved one with declining health may start out small, and care may be easy at first, but as the needs become greater, tensions and resentment may grow when it comes to issues such as communication, money and time.
What do you do if you suddenly find yourself in a difficult situation where family members find themseles at an impasse when it comes to how to care for a loved one?
We have some tips to help you try to prevent issues such as this happening within your family below:
Hold a meeting
You should call a family meeting in order for everyone to be able to share their viewpoint on your loved one's care needs, and what their expectations are.
It helps to have other viewpoints- Even if they oppose yours- someone else may have a thought or idea that you may not have had yet and vise versa.
Gently remind everyone to keep an open mind, you all have the same common goal which is the health and safety of your loved one. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open.
Accept that there is no such thing as fairness when it comes to caring for an elderly family member.
Someone is always going to shoulder more of the responsibility than anyone else. It may not be fair, but that is just the way it is.
The family and work demands of other caretakers is not going to be equal, and someone inevitably someone will have more responsibility.
Anger and resentment robs you of precious time and memories.
Make a List
Keep a running list of all the support your family member will need, and be specific!
Who will be in charge of meals? Managing the checkbook and bills?
Grocery shopping and picking up medications? Transportation to doctors appointments?
Try to keep a running schedule and everything exact so there is little to no miscommunication.
Make sure you have a method to give reminders and accept whatever help other family members are able to provide.
Identify and Contact Avaliable Help in the Community
Here are a few to start:
- Agency on Aging will provide you sites and resources for help. If you have a place of worship, try reaching out to their Senior Ministry to see what support they offer.
- Caring.com offers a list of 12 great caregiver blogs that may have information and stories that you can relate to. The most important thing is that you know that you are not alone.
- Caregiveraction.org offers message boards where you can “meet and chat” with others in similar situations.
- Caregivingcafe.com also has an abundance of information available to caregivers.
With the right information you can help reduce your caregiver stress, find tips and tricks to help keep your life in balance, find ways to save money and most importantly, get the best care for your loved one.