It’s common for families to go into an argument when they start discussing the caring needs of aging parents. Who should be the primary caregiver? How should healthcare expenses be split? Do your parents prefer a retirement community that provides assisted living?
Things can be frustrating when you start a conversation with siblings about your parent’s care needs. It’s no easy task to get everyone to be on the same page. Conflicts tend to arise when all of you have different opinions and no one wants to give in. You might also have uncooperative siblings who refuse to contribute.
Below are some tips which might help you navigate difficult conversations with your siblings when you start discussing what is the best caregiving arrangement for your parents.
Have an Open Communication
Good communication plays an important role in making good decisions. Set the rules with your siblings – this talk will focus on your parents’ caring needs and well-being. No one should stir up unhappy feelings of the past or dominate the discussion. It’s easy for things to get heated up among siblings when opinions clash so setting rules can help you steer away from conflict. Remind everyone to be open to different suggestions and place your parents’ well-being above personal interests.
Consider Your Parents’ Interests
Sometimes, you may get lost in the discussion with your siblings and forget to include your parents. In fact, they are the most important person you should talk with. What you feel is the best arrangement could be different from what your parents want. Seeking their opinion could also help to point you in the right direction. So, remember to get your parents involved as early as possible when you discuss with your siblings about their care needs.
Arrange a Family Meeting
It may be hard to gather all of your siblings to discuss your parents’ care needs. They could be busy with work or have their own families to take care of. Furthermore, some of them might not feel that there is a need to talk about this issue.
You can start by getting everyone to set aside some time for a meeting. Be transparent and let them know it’s important to discuss what is the best arrangement for your parents as they age. A virtual meeting works fine too if all of you can’t travel and meet up. Also, plan the meeting early so everybody can have some time to sort out their thoughts. Try to keep the discussion healthy and focused on your parents’ needs.
Seek Professional Help
You’ve had countless discussions but everyone can’t get on the same page. Maybe it’s time to seek professional help from a social worker or family counselor. They can help to manage emotions in your family and better assess your situation. Having a third party involved is also useful as they can offer unbiased advice and help you to see things from a different perspective. The conflict may not be resolved overnight but if you remember to always place your parents’ priorities above your own, you might reach a positive outcome.