5 Reasons Families Fight About Senior Care

Aug 31, 2016

5 Reasons Families Fight About Senior Care

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Discussing future caring situations with elderly loved ones can be a daunting task. Some stubborn, set-in-their-ways seniors are intent on living out a life full of independence, even if it means putting their own health and well-being in jeopardy.

Implementing a plan of attack when talking to seniors is important, and there will surely be a variety of obstacles to overcome. Throughout your discussion, some of these arguments may arise, so it’s important to be able to identify the issue and how to work through it. Here are 5 reasons families often fight about senior care.

5 Reasons Families Fight About Senior Care

1. Independence

One of the most frequent arguments that occur may deal with your senior’s desire to remain independent. They often feel like their independence is one of the few things they have to hold onto. In some cases, seniors are able to live independently without any form of care. Other times, it’s necessary to provide a little help for day-to-day routines.

Explain to your loved one that you are only trying to ease the burden for them. They are most likely nearing or in retirement, so stress that you want them to enjoy their next stage in life. Seniors need to feel involved in their own care, so it’s important to still allow them a sense of independence whether it’s completing some easier household chores, or helping around the house. Find a balance of independence that will satisfy you and your loved one.

2. Safety

There are a variety of different safety precautions to examine and discuss with your elder. They will often argue that they’ve maintained their own safety just fine for their whole life. It’s important to explain to them that a few precautions can prevent a catastrophe. This subject can also be a source of compromise. If you are able to make your home safe, including some bathroom safety measures, perhaps your senior will be able to remain in the home longer.

An at-home aide can provide assistance if any safety concerns arise. Not only that, it will also ease the burden for children who often become the main caregiver for their elderly loved ones. It’s not always easy to understand the physical limitations older adults face that could make home a virtual minefield for an aging parent, but working together with a caregiver and your loved one will help ease the burden.

3. Medication

With complicating health issues, some seniors can end up taking upwards of 50 different pills a day.  Medications can also take a lot of time and money, so it’s important to be aware and proactive when it comes to your aging loved one's medication safety. Creating a list and schedule of medications can help organize a daily plan to remain healthy.

Talking with your loved one’s doctor about simplifying the medication regimen can also be beneficial. The fewer pills that are taken, the less likely health concerns and side effects will occur.

4. Brain Health

Arguably one of the most difficult issues to talk about, you elder’s mental health can be a touchy subject. It’s important to ease into the conversation by mentioning the benefits of a caregiver or senior community. It’s important to identify symptoms like anxiety, depression, and irritability, because they may be signs of Alzheimer’s or late-onset dementia.

At-home therapists can work to increase brain health by incorporating memory retention exercises with your senior. Stress to your elder that you want them to not only create new memories but be able to recall the older ones as well.

5. Moving

Another big argument might occur when talking about moving into a senior community. Your loved one most likely enjoys where they’re staying, and have no desire to move elsewhere. The key thing you will need to stress is that it will give them a variety of health and comfort benefits. Moving into a community of other seniors will offer a chance to interact with peers while easing the burden of everyday chores.

A change of scenery could be just what your senior needs in his or her next stage in life. Guiding them to it may be difficult at times, but it will benefit you both in the end.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get financial aid when taking care of my senior?

Typically no. Unless your senior has a mental or developmental disorder, most states do not provide financial aid. However, Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP), a federally supported program, provides services to help ease the financial burden of caregiving to a person 60 years and older. This program is available through your local department on aging. Although it usually doesn’t provide monetary aide, it can provide medical supplies, counseling, and education to help care for your senior.

You can, however, be eligible for various credits and deductions as a caregiver of your parent. Check out our Tax Tips for Caregivers Guide to learn more about these opportunities. Also be sure that your family member is taking advantage of our guide to senior tax tips.

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How do I create boundaries with my parent without seeming overbearing?

It’s important to preserve your family unit while not treating your parent like a guest in your home. If you don’t eat dinner every night at the dinner table, tell them. If you don’t allow smoking in the house, tell them. Explain some of the boundaries and house rules and they’ll most likely understand that it’s a group effort and should hopefully work with you to reach agreeable terms. On the same note, it's important that everyone be able to live together in harmony and have their opinions respected. Holding weekly house meetings can be a great chance to bond and respond to any plans or issues experienced. 

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