At some point, you’re going to need to talk to other family members about issues related to caregiving. The most common conversation relates to getting more help for your senior and for you. How you handle the conversation is going to make a big difference.
Don’t Let Your Thoughts Fester
You need to address whatever you need to talk about as soon as possible after realizing you need to talk to family members. If you don’t, it becomes too easy for the feelings and the experiences to make you angry and frustrated. That’s a bad combination, especially if what you need is some more help.
Figure out What You Agree On
Even people who don’t agree on much agree on at least one thing. In your case, other family members might not see eye to eye about anything other than they want what is good for your aging family member. That can be enough. Figure out what you agree on and center your discussions around that.
Avoid Blaming Them
Now is not the time for blame. Even if you feel it’s justified, blame is only going to make this situation worse. Do whatever you can to purge your statements and your approach of anything that could even be considered close to blame. You’ll be glad that you did when all is said and done.
Let Old Stuff Go, if Possible
While you’re at it, do what you can to let any old issues go. This isn’t always easy to do, of course, and there may be some issues that you can’t let go of at all. What you’re aiming for is at least not to go for each other’s throats, especially since you’re both there for your aging adult.
Come up with Compromises
It’s easy to see compromises as both sides losing, but that’s not the case with caregiving, especially if you’re dealing with difficult family relationships. They may not be able to help, but maybe they’re willing to help you hire a caregiver so that your senior has the care that she needs. That’s a compromise that works for everyone involved, especially your senior.
Sometimes these conversations don’t go how you expect them to go even when you’ve done everything the right way. That’s something you need to be prepared for, too. It’s entirely possible that you need to table discussions until another time. It might be a bad time for your family members and that can color the whole conversation.