Some people are hale and hearty until the day they die. But many seniors start to experience a gradual mental and physical decline that their children invariably find painful to watch.
Sometimes the emotional issues tied to a parent’s declining health and level of independence can start major disputes between siblings. One sibling may believe that mom needs to be in nursing care and dad should quit driving, while the other says that mom is just a “little forgetful” and dad’s recent accident “could have happened to anybody.”
How do you resolve these kinds of issues? Here are some suggestions:
- Call a family meeting. Sometimes, all it takes to get everyone on the same page is a frank discussion where everybody can express their concerns. If you’re lucky, your family will pull together with a plan that will ease everyone’s fears.
- Get an expert (or two) involved. Maybe it really isn’t clear what level of care your parents need or what limitations they must accept. It can help to enlist the opinion of their doctors or a geriatric care manager in this process. That can help eliminate doubts and fears of all parties and help you and your siblings move forward.
- Get counseling. If the arguments with your siblings are really getting heated, it may be time to get some family counseling. This is particularly true if one sibling tends to push hard to get their way without regard to everyone else’s feelings. Eldercare mediators are also an option, as they specialize in these situations.
Still can’t agree? It may be time for you to seek guardianship over your mom or dad (or both) so that you can eliminate the conflicts and make the kind of decisions that are necessary for their care. Find out more about how guardianships for adults works here in New York.