How to Stop Family Bickering Over A Loved One's Care
The dialogue below is common among family members trying to manage a loved one’s care and arguing about the best and most reasonable way to do so:
“She just needs extra help around the house!”
“No, you don’t know what it’s really like here since you never visit!”
“Are you going to pay for that?”
“I have my own kids to worry about.”
Family members, especially siblings, know each other’s weaknesses to go after in an argument. It can get very ugly very quickly, and a traumatic event can make this worse. When important decisions need to be made, remember that fighting doesn’t help your loved one in need. It is crucial that your family come to a consensus on care and living arrangements. Let’s talk about how to get to that point.
Participate, but find a leader
Listen first, talk second
Facts, facts, facts
Everyone needs the facts, even those who can’t attend medical appointments or go on facility tours. Your sibling needs to know the full diagnosis, not just that mom or dad had a fall. To the extent that everyone can and wants to understand, be willing to share information. And if you are 100 miles away, make sure you are asking questions and doing your own research (but make sure you know what's already on the table – it won't help for seven different people to call the doctor for a status update). What does the diagnosis mean? How will it affect the day to day? Don’t make excuses about being left out.
We all know the phrase “put yourself in their shoes.” In this case, of course you should try to put yourself in your siblings’ and spouse’s shoes to see their perspective. If everyone remembers the reason for the impassioned debate and differing points of view, it will be easier to come together. But the shoes that matter most belong to your loved one in need of care. Don’t forget that. What does she care most about in this situation? What are her needs and wishes?
Seek guidance from those who have years of experience navigating these waters. Archer Brogan is a practice devoted to all aspects of elder care and crisis management. Contact us today so we can work with you and your family to get through this. Call our office at (609) 842-9200 or use the blue contact button on this page to send us a message or schedule an appointment. We are here to help.
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