It’s no secret the American population is aging. A growing number of baby boomers are retiring and the youngest of the generation has now turned 50. In fact, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will grow by 26% this decade. That means we are living longer, fuller lives.
Of course, as our parents age and begin needing help at home, family dynamics can change. Even the most loving families can suffer from arguments and disagreements about caregiving. So what can you do when not everyone may agree on what’s best for Mom or Dad?
Here are some simple ways caregivers can navigate family disputes with compassion and patience.
Why do family dynamics change when caring for parents?
No matter how old a person is, they can revert back to their early sibling dynamics. This is because families have history, and some things never change.
For instance, an older sibling may feel jealous of their younger sibling because they had to be more responsible. That jealousy can re-manifest when siblings come together over the care for their Mom or Dad. If one sibling lives closer to their parents, they may assume the bulk of caregiving responsibilities.
In fact, many family disputes involve claims that one sibling isn’t helping out enough when it comes to their parent’s care needs. These disputes, when paired with family dynamic problems, can ignite old fires.
Family caregivers are already at risk of stress, insomnia, and depression. Disputes over aging loved ones can exacerbate these problems further.
To navigate these disputes, it is essential that you first establish open and positive communication. Ultimately, you all want what’s best for your family, even if you disagree about what that means. By focusing on common ground and your good intentions, you can take the first steps to a healthy dialogue.
Once this dialogue has been opened, you can work towards a family care plan that takes everyone’s needs into account.
How can you develop a family care plan that’s fair?
It may be necessary to step outside of the family circle to come up with a family care plan that’s fair for everyone. It’s all too easy to let feelings of resentment and preconceived expectations cloud your judgment.
You and your siblings need to focus on giving your aging loved ones the best care possible. And, in some cases, you can find that care in a home health aide. Home health aides are medical professionals whose job it is to care for your loved one in a full- or part-time capacity.
Home health aides can free your schedule for your own career and day-to-day activities. And, because they’re not part of the family, they can give everyone the space they need.
Whether you’re looking for a home health aide for companionship, errands, nursing, or medical social services, Med1Care has the home health care services you need. To learn more about our home health aides, physical therapists, and home health classes, contact Med1Care today.