Most elder caregiving is performed by close family members, but almost inevitably, there may come a time when even the most dedicated family caregivers have to make room for paid care services.
This can create conflict between family members and run the risk of detracting from an elder loved one’s quality of care and overall well-being. We are here to tell you that it does not have to.
Family conflict, particularly among adult children, often results from:
- Sibling rivalries and prior family disputes
- An inability to cooperate and make important shared decisions
- Disagreements about an elder loved one’s health and financial concerns
- Uneven distributions of paid caregiving responsibilities
Whether due to a diagnosable illness like Alzheimer’s Disease, a debilitating injury or just plain old age, paid caregivers are well-suited to deliver positive health care results. This does not mean, however, that transitioning away from family care is going to occur smoothly.
First, the lion’s share of family caregiving usually falls on one particular adult child. It is important for other siblings to recognize all that this entails, as letting go can be challenging.
Forgoing income-generating opportunities and basing social and personal commitments around an aging parent is an enormous sacrifice. When combining the rigors of meal preparation, assistance with bathing, dressing, transportation, and other daily activities, elder caregiving can be exhausting.
This has to be acknowledged and respected, even if it is the primary elder caregiver who now wants to pay for help, and possibly relief. Conversely, a primary caregiver should recognize and work through any resentments from adult siblings and family members about his or her volunteer care.
Even the most “functional” families may bring old baggage to the table when facing difficult elder care decisions, but issues will need to be resolved with the elder loved one’s best interests in mind. Clear communication and mature compromise is a requirement. If disputes persist, then consulting a third-party expert for impartial guidance can be extremely helpful. As elder law professionals we can offer advice on sensitive issues and provide a healthy way forward. Do not wait to let us know what help you and your loved one’s need.