There are many challenges that families face when discussing the idea of senior care with aging parents and loved ones. Due to lack of information, multiple opinions, and fear of the future, conversations about the making of senior care plans and assisted living can often lead to conflict, especially when friends and family don’t entirely agree on what constitutes the best alternative. In this month's blog, we will investigate three possible reasons for conflict as aging loved ones begin to require senior care as well as three possible solutions to resolve differences.
1. Resisting Harsh New Realities
Are your parents or loved ones resisting the idea of senior care? This is not uncommon in older adults reaching the season of life where daily activities become a challenge without some assistance. If you are struggling with discussing the idea of assisted living with mom or dad, it might result in hurt feelings or anxiety if not communicated appropriately. Conflicts can arise, resulting in family members talking AT one another instead of TO each other.
Solution: Be brief and clear-cut. To avoid hurt feelings, tell them that their health and happiness is of the most importance to you. Explain that you are not attempting to "be free" of them. It’s crucial to communicate your concerns effectively, because communication is key. Once you express your feelings and worries regarding their well-being, listen to their concerns with an open mind. Afterwards, appeal to logic by creating a checklist of pros and cons from among the best options. Helping an aging parent to accept senior care can be a challenge, even in the best of circumstances. The ideal approach is to be honest, yet compassionate and motivated, and remain patient in the journey to discovering senior care facilities and future plans. Senior care authority Debra Feldman encourages tolerance and understanding during this sensitive time. Empathy helps us to understand how frightening things can seem when losing our self-reliance.
2. Perception of Senior Needs
Is your loved one denying the need for senior care? In many situations, seeing is believing – but when it comes to aging seniors recognizing the time to accept help, this isn’t always the case. It is quite common for loved ones to perceive needs for assistance differently. For example, do your aging parents stumble at times or struggle to get around the house, but deny it when questioned?
Solution: Families often dispute about the needs of senior care. Those involved all have varying opinions on the way those needs should be met. To minimize family conflict, it is recommended to seek guidance from the senior’s health care professional. Keeping the best interest of their patient, a trusted doctor or nurse practitioner can help recognize the needs and objectively recommend options to aging seniors and their families. Following your visit with a physician, the next logical step may be to meet with one of our community consultants at Regency. Call and schedule a no obligation appointment today to learn more about senior living and senior care plans for your loved ones.
3. Dominance of Decisions
When families do not see eye-to-eye on important decisions, typically there is at least one loved one dominating the decision-making process. In some cases, this can be a sibling, other family member, or even a senior who refuses care.
Solution: If it seems easier to keep quiet in regards to senior control, think again. While it may keep the peace, it’s important to vocalize your concerns, especially if you feel the aging senior is not being well cared for. If faced with conflict and limited control over estate and inheritance, a family mediator might be able help. Such unpleasant conflicts will only grow more complicated if resentment boils over in the future. Losing a senior parent, when that time comes, is difficult enough without family arguing over things that ideally should have been settled years before.
Despite the preliminary challenges that accompany transitioning into assisted living, it is crucial to consider living alternatives for aging loved ones, their overall health and well-being. Again, our Regency community consultants are always here to answer any of your questions. We would love to have you come in and see our warm community. We look forward to introducing you to our Regency family. We welcome the opportunity to act as a true resource to you and yours.
Written by: Katie Hanley