Caring for an aging or infirm parent can be stressful and emotional. Whether hiring outside care or dividing the care amongst the family – conflict and/or disagreement can often occur. These emotions come from a place of love, fear, anxiousness, stress, and many other normal feelings. When hiring a caregiver or distributing the care of your aging parent, follow these suggested steps to improve communication and set expectations in order to make sure you don’t lose focus on what matters most– the health and well-being of your loved one.
Communication is extremely important. Consider the following to avoid conflict and disagreements:
- Hold regular family meetings/calls for everyone involved (even those that live in another city/state)
- Have daily meetings/calls with your caregiver (if a professional home caregiver)
- Be honest with your family, caregiver, and loved one
- Listen and give everyone a chance to be heard
With the clear communication and regular meetings outlined above, it is important to set clear expectations that include:
- A clear outline of responsibilities for all parties involved that are achievable depending on location, finances, etc.
- Establishing a caregiver agreement outlining everyone’s role
Keep in mind there are also tools available that help to make Caregiving easier by enabling you to track responsibilities and divide the workload. Find out more here.
Common sources of conflict come from caregiver stress and the burden many family members can feel when providing care for a loved one. Conflict that arises among caregivers can have a direct, adverse effect on your loved one. Do not let conflict or disagreements get in the way of providing high-quality care.