It’s the discussion no one wants to have. Aging parents are showing signs of aging that indicate additional care may be necessary, and it’s time to create a plan. But what happens when family members disagree on a senior care plan for mom or dad?
The situation may shock adult children who live some distance away. How the family responds determines both the wellbeing of the seniors and the family itself. All family members must talk honestly, listen patiently, and plan cooperatively. This effort can be challenging for family members with differing opinions or longstanding conflicts.
First, let’s look at some of the interpersonal obstacles that hinder families from making good choices in a care plan.
When Children Become Children, Again
In times of stress, many times family members tend to revert back to the type of child they were when they lived at home. The roles and relationships they had as kids may reassert themselves. Long-simmering disputes that have nothing to do with the task at hand may surface and damage the discussion.
Primary Caregiver Challenge
Surprisingly, the family member who has invested the most time and effort in caring for aging parents may become an obstacle to planning for the future, as hidden resentment at carrying the bulk of the responsibility may surface.
On the other hand, caregivers may define their worth by the service they provide. In doing so, they block other family members from participating in any planning.
When a senior marries for a second time, decisions will have to be made when the spouse of that second marriage dies. For example, what is to become of the deceased spouse’s pension, investments, and other benefits that may be disputed by children on either side of the two families.
Often, with two sets of children inthe mix, the question becomes one of who financially benefits and by how much. The outcome can have a dramatic effect on the level of service and care the surviving spouse can afford.
Bethesda understands that deciding on a senior loved one’s care plan can be stressful, especially when family members don’t agree. That’s why Bethesda’s Care Management Team offers individualized care plans to fit your exact situation. Whatever your loved ones’ needs, Bethesda is here. Contact us to learn more.