Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with Alzheimer’s disease is stressful. This stress is only made worse when you are also dealing with family conflict while trying to give your loved one the care that they need. This conflict can stem from a variety of sources. Your siblings might not think that you are doing enough for your loved one or disagree with your care methods. You might feel that they are not doing enough and should be contributing more. Other family members might be argumentative about care, living arrangements, or other issues. No matter the source of the conflict, when you are dealing with difficulties in your care journey with your senior with Alzheimer’s disease, it can put a strain on you and on the care efforts you are able to give your aging loved one.
Use these tips to help you cope with family conflict during your caregiving journey with a senior with Alzheimer’s disease:
• Have a meeting. Confront the situation head-on by sitting down with the family members who you are having the conflict with and talking it out. Express your emotions and how their actions are making you feel. Also be clear on how these actions are impacting your care efforts and the well-being of your aging loved one.
• Open up to them. Much of the conflict that you are experiencing with your family throughout your parent’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease might come from the fact that the family members are not family with what your loved one is actually going through. They might have misconceptions about what your parent is actually experiencing or what challenges you are going through. Open up to them about the actual experiences that you have and your parent’s true needs .
• Ask for their help. You do not have to admit that you are wrong or that they are right to ask for their help. Be willing to say that you could benefit from extra support and that you would appreciate if they would be there for you to help you accomplish your goals rather than simply criticizing you or telling you what you should do.
• Accept what they offer. You might want to control every element of your parent’s care, but that does not always work when you are trying to get multiple people to help you handle the care for your aging parent. Instead, talk with each of them about your care journey and let them offer ways that they can contribute. Let them know the specific things that your parent needs and give them the opportunity to choose what they will do.
• Consider elderly care. There are times when the conflict may just be too severe to overcome amicably. This can cause the quality of your parent’s care to suffer. If this happens and you are feeling as though you are not going to be able to get everything done properly, suggest an elderly home care services provider. Your family members can contribute to paying for the care and everyone will have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is getting the care and support that they need from a neutral, professional provider.
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