How often have we heard a friend or a family member speak ill about their siblings because of the decisions they have made over their senior parents’ care? As we grow older, this is a reality that we must face: we are going to have painful and tough decisions as a family. When you witness your parents’ health deteriorating, all you want to do is to embrace them, hoping that this will take the pain away. But do you know what’s more painful for them? Seeing you and your siblings fight and argue.
You can put them in a care home in Dartford, Kent. But if your siblings disagree with this setup (either because of financial constraints or other reasons), you should allow them to voice out their concerns. Listening and communicating are the two most important factors in avoiding an argument with your siblings. Here are other tips that you can employ:
Always try to see your siblings’ reasons from their point of view. Try to be emphatic with your siblings. Don’t think that they are trying to one-up you or belittle your contributions. Listen with an emphatic ear and, cliché as it may sound, heart. Why are your siblings acting the way they do? Maybe they are feeling powerless about the situation. Maybe this is their way of dealing with the stress of deciding over your parents’ senior care.
Play to Your Strengths
What are you good at? If you’re better at handling finances, you can take that responsibility. You could be the one to pay the bills, but make sure that you report back to your siblings. If you’re great at caregiving, can you be the one to visit your parents regularly to look after them? Divide your responsibilities according to your strengths. Don’t push a task to a sibling who wouldn’t know what to do with it.
Understand Financial Situations
You and your siblings don’t stand equally on finances. You may be at a better place financially, but your youngest may not. If one sibling has five kids, that means more expenses. Understand that you cannot all pay equally—although it will be good if everyone tries to share the same amount. If you are going to pay for more, ask your siblings to take on other heavier responsibilities. For your part, don’t look down on your siblings because you’re the one paying the medical expenses. This isn’t about your siblings. This is about your parents.
Hold Your Tongue
During the heat of an argument, it’s easy to let loose and blurt out whatever you are thinking. You’re only hurting yourself, your parents, and your siblings. This is family. It is a stressful time, but you’ll survive it. But if you say things that will hurt your siblings, you will worsen the situation. Instead, say it in a nice manner. If you’re feeling taken advantage of, say so. If you feel inadequate to help your parents, tell them that.
The responsibilities of taking care of a senior parent are daunting. It can overwhelm you. It’s normal to feel that way. It’s not like you don’t love your parents, but you’re human. You’re stressed and exhausted. The best way to avoid fighting with your siblings over senior care is to talk and focus on your love for your parents. That will enable you to make the right decisions.