How to avoid family conflicts over the care of the elderly?

When the elderly attains a certain age, they require assistance from family members to develop a normal life, which generates a new family scenario. Taking care of elderly parents results in new routines, new responsibilities, and new ways of facing the day-to-day. Harmonizing all these aspects between people who think and act differently is not always an easy task. However, there are effective methods on how to resolve family conflict over caring for the elderly. This blog will discuss some of the reasons that cause conflict during care for the elderly. And the consequences of family conflicts when caring for the elderly.

Reasons for conflict during care of the elderly

One of the most common family conflicts that arise as parents age is in regards to caregiving. Many components factor in as you plan how to arrange care for elderly parents. However, you must always approach the care from two perspectives: From the elderly and family perspectives.

The elderly perspective

When making caregiving decisions, you have to consider the stand of the older person who requires care. Some of the things to consider while making caregiving decisions are their needs, the type of care they require, where they would like to receive it, and by whom. In addition, you will have to consider their level of autonomy, what impact will acceptance/adaptation to care by other people have, and many more.

Family perspective

Different family members may have different opinions on how to provide care for elderly parents. Some will suggest one of the family members to take up the responsibility. While others believe that experienced caregivers are the best since they are prepared to cope with these circumstances and are fully dedicated to caring work.

While it is true that taking care of other people is an inherent ability, you have to be realistic: no one becomes a perfect caregiver overnight. Taking charge of the well-being and happiness of another person requires a high level of commitment that implies notable changes at a personal, family, social, and even work level.

During the process of adaptation of caregivers-family, both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect the process. Some of the intrinsic factors include the person's circumstances, expectations, stress level, and limitations. On the other hand, the extrinsic factors include the opinions of the environment and other family members, the ideas found, the particular ideas about what the care of an older person implies, the structure and the family functioning.

These two types of factors are the main reasons for family problems during the care of elderly parents. Some of the family problems that may come up include:

  • The reappearance of old resentments over issues that have nothing to do with caring for the older person

  • Need to control decision-making related to the management of care for the elderly by some members.

  • Ideas faced concerning the needs of the elderly, generally, without consulting their opinion.

  • Scope and nature of the care provided or that should be provided to ensure the well-being of the elderly parent.

  • Economic issues related to medical expenses, healthcare expenses, or paid care also cause family conflict during caregiving.

  • The time and dedication required to be in charge of an older person also cause family conflict.

  • Lack of space in home and loss of intimacy in the family after the arrival of the older person.

  • Discrepancies about the role that each member of the family must assume in the face of the new circumstances also is a primary reason for family conflicts. Some members will be cooperative, while others will take their stand. " i don 't want to care for my elderly parents."

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What are the consequences of family conflicts when caring for the elderly?

Each family is a particular case, but the truth is that taking care of an older person always represents an essential change in their routines. But when you approach all these modifications by consensus and dialogue, there are no reasons for the transition to impact negatively.

However, ideal conditions do not always exist. In most cases, accepting the new reality is a trauma for both the elderly and those who care for them. In this change in routine, it is common for situations that affect the good relationships between family members to arise. Such situations include:

  • Distance between family members derived from inefficient coping with new circumstances.

  • Loss in personal relationships with partners, children, friends, or any person close to you

  • Increased anxiety levels in older people when consuming

Taking care of elderly parents can be an emotional process that requires support among family members. Unfortunately, conflicts are common while providing care for ageing parents, which can complicate the caregiving tasks. The best way of dealing with family conflict is through effective communication among family members. That will enable them to agree on how to arrange care for their elderly parents.

Ageism: age discrimination