Typically caregiving disagreements occur because of roles and rivalries dating back to childhood disagreements over an elder elder’s condition and abilities disagreements over financial matters…

Try: Typically caregiving disagreements occur because of roles and rivalries dating back to childhood disagreements over an elder elder’s condition and abilities disagreements over financial matters and other practical issues burden of care steps to recognize and avoid conflicts hold regular family meetings as soon as the person begins to have health problems initiate regular family meetings with your siblings and other family members who will be involved in her care the goal is to share information and make decisions as a group; the meetings can also be a source of support and provide a forum for resolving disagreements if all or some of you live in different parts of the country the meetings can be held by conference call there are now many free conference call services available you can search online with the term free conference calls set a regular time for the family meetings that that’s convenient for everyone involved — it could be once a month or whatever suits your family — and if you can do so before a crisis occurs so this tool will be in place when you really need it if possible reserve a little time at the end of the meeting or conference call to chat and catch up divide the labor rather than insist that all of the care-giving tasks be divided equally consider a division of labor that takes into account each family member member’s interests and skills as well as their availability your sister may find it difficult to get away during the day to take your family member to his doctor doctor’s appointments but perhaps she can handle his finances or take the lead in finding an appropriate long-term care situation a family member who lives far away won’t be able to help with day-to-day care but may be able to come for a visit every few months to give you a break a fair division of labor can mitigate resentment and make caregiving more efficient the family meeting is an excellent time for setting up a caregiving schedule and dividing up tasks talk about it if you feel you’re carrying too much of the burden consider discussing it with siblings and other family members they may not realize that you’re feeling overwhelmed — or even know how much you’re doing in a calm quiet moment — perhaps at the next family meeting — explain how you feel in a matter-of-fact nonconfrontational way try to be specific when you ask for help for example ask your sister if she can take over the grocery shopping or find out if your niece can regularly drive your family member to doctor doctor’s appointments it it’s also important to communicate with other family members if you’re burned out and need a break if another sibling or family member is doing most of the caregiving offer support and encourage her to express her frustrations and talk about what would make it easier for her offer help even if you live far away if you live far from your family member and other relatives are responsible for most of the care be sure to offer support check in often to see how things are going and to offer whatever assistance you can ask about how the caregiver is doing and be a sounding board for frustrations and concerns be patient if the caregiver needs to vent the national caregivers alliance advises relatives who live far away to let the caregivers know how much you appreciate what they do and to make sure that primary caregivers get regular respite breaks visit regularly and take over your family member member’s care if you can and if you can’t find other ways to make sure primary caregivers get regular breaks perhaps you can pay for some additional care or offer to hire a housecleaner for the caregivers be part of the solution if you find yourself in conflict with another family member when caring for an elderly relative take a step back and get some perspective consider your own role in the conflict and ask yourself if you’re acting out an old family role or resentment it might help you to see a therapist for support and insight or it may help to get family counseling so the whole family gets the support they need even if your family doesn’t have specific disagreements you may want to see a counselor on an occasional basis because experts can help you tap into options and resources that you may not be aware of many problems facing caregivers have no easy answers take for example your argument with your brothers about whether your dad can still drive in a sense you’re both right he might well be too infirm to drive but he needs his independence an experienced counselor can help you work through dilemmas like this one and determine what what’s best for your family member — and for you to find a counselor contact your local senior center or area agency on aging take care of yourself if you’re the main caregiver make sure that you’re taking care of yourself by getting regular sleep nutritious meals and exercise if you’re the primary caregiver you also need to have regular breaks to avoid burnout put it in writing another way to avoid caregiving conflicts is to have a geriatric care manager family mediator or lawyer help you write a caregiving agreement the following are some examples of topics an agreement might cover which sibling has primary care of a parent and how caregiving duties will be divided among siblings whether a sibling will be reimbursed for caring for a parent where the parent should live with a child in assisted living in a nursing home how to decide whether a parent should move into a nursing home how the parent parent’s money will be managed whether the siblings will contribute financially to the parent parent’s care information references connie matthiessen 2009 "caring for elderly relatives how to handle family conflicts " available at elder law update 2007 "avoid sibling disputes over caregiving by putting it in writing " available at

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Categories: Sage, Topic, Caregiver Needs&Support, Communication

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Keywords: Conflicts family disputes communication sharing responsibility

*This information is listed as a Fact Sheet and is not explicitly medically licensed

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