Some fortunate families find great solace in the fact that all of the adult children can get together when their parents’ health declines and figure out a plan for their care. When siblings who did not always get along as children and have had little or zero contact as adults are forced to make caregiving decisions jointly, the results can be terrible for these families.
The reality for most families, though, is somewhere in the middle. However, caregiving often comes as a surprise to those doing it. In most cases, the eldest kid who lives closest to their aging parents is the one who steps up to the plate as a caregiver. That is hardly surprising, given the strong correlation between the caregiver’s proximity to the care recipient and the frequency and promptness with which care is provided.
If you have decided on moving your aging parent to memory care for improved senior quality of life and to prevent caregiver’s burnout, here are some tips for you to discuss the move with your siblings without stirring up any disputes.
Preparation and Cooperation Work Together
Conversations about your parents’ wishes for how their needs will be met in their old age should have taken place well before this point. They should have made a will and appointed a health care and financial power of attorney, among other legal and financial preparations. It is ideal if all siblings are informed of and on board with these plans. Because elderly care is typically a family responsibility, this is crucial information. Of course, real life is rarely picture perfect.
Call a Family Meeting
I agree with the majority of specialists that say a family meeting needs to be in order. A hands-on caregiver can take the opportunity to explain their role and address any concerns the parents may have. Siblings can get updated on what is going on, weigh in on care decisions, and figure out how they can help. Finding and utilizing each other’s abilities will help you develop a care plan that distributes work more fairly.
Engaging a Care Manager
Hiring a geriatric care manager (GCM) is a fantastic choice for fractious siblings who are unable to come to terms on a course of care for an elderly parent. Social workers and nurses are common examples of elder care specialists who focus on assessing the needs of the elderly and arranging the care and resources required to ensure that the elderly continue to have a high quality of life. While GCMs do not offer direct care themselves, they do use their knowledge and experience to develop an appropriate care plan for an elderly person and organize its implementation by other parties (such as family members or professional elder care agencies).
Elder Care Mediation
Many families, alas, have broken down completely and are no longer capable of working together. Here is where mediators specializing in caring for the elderly come in handy. People with this expertise are trained to mediate disputes and help parties reach agreements. An impartial mediator does not take sides or impose their own solutions on the disputants. Mediation, on the other hand, encourages parties to consider alternate viewpoints and work toward mutually acceptable compromises. Avoiding harmful legal action or guardianship petitions between family members is one of the greatest benefits of mediation.