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Learn About Family Disagreements When Caring for Parents

When it comes to caring for aging parents, the role of family caregivers is vital. They're responsible for ensuring that their parents receive the best possible care and support. However, disagreements may often come up among family caregivers. These disputes can be anything from how the parent should be cared for to how the caregiving responsibilities should be divided among family members. It's crucial that family disagreements are dealt with constructively to focus on providing the best possible care for the parent.

Common Family Disagreements

1. How the Parent Should Be Cared For

Some of the disagreements about the parents' care include:

  • What type of care they should receive
  • How often a doctor should see them
  • Lastly, what medications they should take

It's important to remember that each family situation is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. Indeed, the best course of action will vary depending on the parent's specific needs and the family's resources and capabilities. Ultimately, the goal should be to ensure that the parent receives the best possible care.

2. How the Caregiving Responsibilities Should Be Divided Among Family Members

Another common source of disagreement among family caregivers is how the caregiving responsibilities should be divided. This can be particularly challenging when siblings are involved, as different siblings may want to take on different responsibilities. It's also important to communicate openly and honestly about each person's abilities and preferences and develop a plan that works for everyone.

3. Who Should Make Decisions About the Parent's Care

There may also be disagreements about who should have the final say when it comes to decisions about the parent's care. In some families, the oldest child or the one who lives closest to the parent may make this decision. In other families, everyone may have an equal say. It's important to discuss this issue ahead of time and reach a consensus about who will have the final say.

4. Where the Parent Should Live

Another common issue that may lead to disagreements among family caregivers is where the parent should live. This may be particularly challenging when siblings or other family members have different views on this topic. It's important to communicate openly and develop a solution that everyone can agree on.

Tips for Resolving Family Disagreements

1. Communicate Openly and Honestly

It's important to communicate openly and honestly with each other about your needs, concerns, and expectations. This will then help ensure that everyone is on the same page and make it easier to resolve any disagreements that come up.

2. Be Willing to Compromise

In many cases, family caregivers will need to be willing to compromise in order to find a solution that works for everyone. You may need to agree to disagree about how the parent should be cared for and develop a plan that meets everyone's needs.

3. Seek Professional Help

If you are having difficulty resolving disagreements among family caregivers, it may be helpful to seek professional help. For example, a mediator or therapist can assist you in communicating with each other and working through your disagreements.

4. Keep the Focus on the Parent

It is important to remember that the ultimate goal is to provide the best possible care for the parent. This should be kept in mind when addressing any disagreements among family caregivers.

Learn More About Resolving Family Disagreements When Caring for Parents

Most families are faced with disagreements among family caregivers as they work together to care for their aging parents. While these disagreements can be challenging, family caregivers can use the tips above to resolve them effectively.

Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP)

The CDPAP program can help take the pressure off families and help them care for their loved ones. CDPAP is a New York State Medicaid Program in which a consumer can choose a caregiver to help with their daily living activities. This caregiver is compensated through a fiscal intermediary such as Elite Choice. Learn more about Elite Choice and the CDPAP program by calling us at 718.925.2900.

Written by: Leah Ganz
Director of Patient Services

Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain management and internal medicine. She oversees all patient services across Elite's departments.