When faced with significant decisions related to their elderly parents’ care, disagreements between adult siblings are common. Whether it’s differing perceptions of the type of care that their parents require, resentments about who is shouldering more of the work, or just varying financial situations among the siblings, coming to an agreement on the best senior care situation is challenging. To help avoid conflict, hurt feelings, and ensure that your elderly parents are well cared for, stopping disputes before they start is a must. Below, learn how to communicate with your adult sibling about your parents’ wellbeing.
3 Tips for Reducing Conflict With Siblings About Senior Care
1. Start From the Same Place
Sibling disagreements about what their parents need as they grow older often stem from different perceptions. One sibling might believe that their mother or father is doing fine on their own, and doesn't need senior care, while another may have a different point of view. This is most common when one or two siblings spend more time with their parents than the others. To help get everyone on the same page, it’s worth getting an expert opinion from an impartial third party. You can request a visit from a geriatric social worker to evaluate your parents’ situation and talk with their doctors to get a sense of what’s actually happening, so you can make more informed choices without disagreements.
2. Choose Senior Care Together
If your parents need extra help, siblings should work together to determine the best option. This begins with agreeing on the basic parameters of care. For example, you might need to consider whether they will continue to live independently with extra help or move into an assisted living facility. Because finances are often a source of conflict, get a clear picture of what money is available, and set a budget before beginning research. Visit senior housing together, and discuss the pros and cons of each option to reach a consensus.
3. Keep Your Parents in the Loop
Conflicts among siblings often arise because there is disagreement about what their parents would want. This can be solved by adhering to your parents’ stated wishes. Before senior care becomes an issue, talk with your parents about their wishes for end-of-life care, and ask them to draft a living will outlining their wishes. This typically involves designating power of attorney to one person, who will then be in charge of making all decisions. This designation alone can cause conflict, but ultimately, communication and a mutual desire to do what’s best for your parents can quell most disagreements.
Knowing that your parents are safe and well-cared for can reduce the stress and conflict between siblings that dealing with aging can bring. The senior care providers at Red Oak Residence in North Bend, WA, prioritize the quality of life for seniors and have experience working with families to ensure that their loved ones are healthy and safe. They offer both independent and assisted living facilities, and residents also have access to activities, libraries, and personal care services. Visit them online to learn more about their services or call (425) 888-7108 to schedule a tour.