Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult is challenging enough without having to cope with criticism or conflict. Unfortunately, if you have siblings, it is likely you will experience some conflict regarding your parent’s care as they age in place.
Even if you have taken on the role of being their primary caregiver, you may experience tension, disagreements, and other issues that make it more difficult for your parent to get the fullest benefit from their care. By understanding what may cause this conflict, you are better able to resolve it so you can put as much focus and energy as possible on the quality of care your parent receives.
Some things that may cause conflict with your siblings over your parent’s care include:
- Different perspectives on your parent’s needs. You may find your siblings do not see your senior’s needs in the same way. Some may think their needs are much more extensive, while others may think they are mild and your parent should do more on their own. This can cause conflict as to how much care your parent should really be receiving.
- Disagreements over how to handle resistance. If your parent is not receptive to care, or resists certain care efforts, your siblings might disagree on how to handle the resistance. Some might insist on pushing the issue, while others might support leaving your parent to their own devices until they recognize their need for care. The sibling on the “losing” side of this argument might refuse to participate in care.
- One child takes on everything. One particularly difficult source of conflict is if you are the only one of the siblings who is doing anything to care for your parent, or if you are doing the vast majority of the care and your siblings are only contributing occasionally or in token ways. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed and taken advantage of, especially if the parent shows favoritism towards the other siblings.
- Leaving others out of the loop. If you choose to take on all of the responsibilities of caring for your parent and leave your siblings out, this may cause even more conflict. Your siblings could feel left out, or worry that your parent is not getting adequate care because more people are not involved. If you limit access to your parent, it can make the situation even worse.
Taking on the role of being a family caregiver for an elderly parent does not mean the other obligations, responsibilities, and needs of your life disappear.
When you are in this role, you must balance all of these needs, which can leave you feeling stressed and even overwhelmed. If you are facing other issues, such as living at a distance from your parent, dealing with conflict with your siblings, or helping your parent manage extensive needs, you are likely to face even greater stress.
Fortunately, elderly care can help. The services of an elderly home care services provider are completely customizable, meaning you can feel confident your senior is getting exactly what they need to remain safe, healthy, and comfortable while pursuing independence and fulfillment in the ways that are right for them. Not only can this reduce your stress by decreasing the number of tasks you need to handle for your parent, but it can also act to ease tension and conflict over disagreements regarding your senior’s care.