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If there’s anything harder than being a caregiver, it’s sharing caregiver duties with other family members, like siblings. It’s pretty rare for family members to see eye to eye on every aspect of caregiving, which can lead to conflict. They may disagree about the kind of care that is needed or struggle with finding a fair balance. If you’re struggling to keep the peace with your fellow family caregivers, below are some tips to help you work better together and prevent arguments
Set Common Goals
Hold a family meeting and ask that all family caregivers be present, even if they must do so by phone or video conference. The older adult should be involved as well unless they are not capable of making decisions. At the meeting, talk about what kind of care is needed. It can help to bring medical records and other health information to the meeting in case someone is in denial about the situation. Once you have reached a consensus on the care needed, move on to discussing how each caregiver can help. Those who do not live close by can help by offering emotional support, scheduling appointments, managing finances, and keeping the caregiver schedule.
Take a New View of “What’s Fair”
If one of the things causing conflict is the way time is divided between caregivers, you may need to reexamine what is truly fair. Not everyone has the same amount of time to spare, so simply saying that each family caregiver must spend 10 hours per week with the older adult isn’t necessarily realistic. Instead, really think about what is going on in each person’s life and consider how much time each person can realistically be expected to give. You can always divide up duties that aren’t hands-on, like taking care of finances, to make things more even.
Take Responsibility for Suggestions
Someone will inevitably say that something needs to change. Suggest to all family members that if they believe a care aspect needs to change, they must also present a plan for making the change. This can prevent people from complaining without offering solutions.
See Discussions as Brainstorming Instead of Competition
When a disagreement comes up, try to see it as an opportunity to make positive changes instead of thinking of it as a competition. You don’t have to come out of the discussion “right.” The real goal is for your aging relative to receive great care. Disagreements can lead to improvements
If you or an aging loved-one are considering a caregiver in Columbia, SC, please talk to our caring staff. Call today (803) 223-6173.