When problems arise, we have no doubt our family members will be the first ones by our side.
As lovely as the family connection is, disagreements arise when dealing with certain stressful circumstances.
One of the most difficult to work through can be negotiating with our siblings about home care or adult day for mom and dad.
We all want the best for our parents, but conflict can arise when it comes to the cost, who will pay, and what kind of care can be provided.
Is there anything which can be done to help keep the peace?
3 Steps to Negotiating Care for Your Parents with Your Siblings
When it comes to care for your mom and dad, you may think you know what you’re doing and what steps you want to take. But your siblings might want to go a different route.
Never forget your siblings want what’s best for mom and dad just like you do.
To this end, it’s vital for the peace and happiness within the family to follow the following steps to a peaceful negotiation about home care and other care options.
1. Talk as a Family Before Care Is Necessary
One of the biggest mistakes we see families make is waiting too long to make important decisions.
This should actually be done before your parents need senior home care or adult day care.
In fact, it should be done with the whole family – you, your siblings, and your parents. Your parents should definitely have a say in what kind of care they want and when they want to invest in any kind of senior care.
For example, some adult children are quick to put their parents in care homes. Not only is this not always necessary, most adults don’t want it.
Talk to your parents and find out if they want to implement services like senior helpers and adult day care which can help them keep their independence a lot longer.
2. As Often As Is Possible, Communicate In Person
A lot of families are separated by distance. This forces them to find ways to communicate. Some use the phone, others use email, and still others text.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of misunderstandings.
If at all possible, have important conversations in person.
We understand this isn’t always possible, and in those cases it might be best to try video chat. You’ll be able to see facial expressions and body language, which add a lot to what a person has to say.
3. No One Sibling Should Take On All of the Responsibilities
When you communicate with your siblings, discuss who can take on which responsibilities. You should try and divide responsibilities as evenly as possible. No one sibling should feel like they’re responsible for 100% of their parent’s care.
Of course, it will never be perfectly even. There’s usually one sibling who lives closer than the others which ends up with more responsibility. There are others, too, which are better at financial matters and end up taking on the bulk of the care for their parent’s finances.
If things are too uneven, though, it will be easy for you to burn out.
But what if there’s a justifiable reason why your siblings can’t contribute more? This is the time when you should discuss getting more outside assistance, like senior home care.
Working for the Greater Good – Your Parents’ Health and Wellbeing
Though we hate to admit it, there are times when we get into a dispute with others and aren’t willing to budge. We’ve thought things through and feel like we know best, and when we feel that way it can be really difficult to compromise.
Unfortunately, this type of attitude can have a really negative effect on our family relationships. It can even adversely affect the health and well-being of our parents.
It’s important to remember two things.
First, there’s always more than one way to do something. Our way isn’t always necessarily the best way.
As long as our siblings aren’t trying to do something shady which will damage our parents’ health, happiness, or finances, it’s often good to take a step back and evaluate whether we can find a compromise or not.
Second, we need to remember, ultimately, this is not about us or our siblings. It’s about our parents. What will make them happiest and most comfortable? What will help them keep their dignity and a measure of independence?
Keep these things in mind and it will be easier to negotiate with family members and keep peace and harmony within the family.