Caregiving and Family Dynamics
Many times, when a loved one needs care, the whole family must get involved. This can be a difficult situation for various reasons. One reason is that other family members may live far away from the loved one in question, and it would be hard to communicate and share responsibilities. Other times, not all family members get along and coming together for the sake of a loved one, like a parent, may be a difficult task to do peacefully. In this blog, we will go over various situations that may arise as you collaborate with members of the family and ways to handle them.
Living Far from Your Loved One: One potential problem that may arise is not being close enough to care for your loved one. Or, on the other hand, you may have siblings who live in other states or in cities hours away from where your loved one stays.
Financial Strain: Family caregiving can be an expensive role to take on. And it may put certain family members who are directly involved in your loved one’s care to be in an uncomfortable situation, like having to ask for money from other family members.
Strained Family Relations: Not all family’s get along well. That is natural. Having a loved one who needs care can have the indirect effect of bringing family members together, even if that is an undesirable event for some people.
How to Manage Family Dynamics While Caring for a Loved One
One of the most important things to emphasize is good communication. Communication involves both clearly stating what one wants to say, while the other party actively listens. These are the two most important elements for good communication.
When caring for a loved one, many complicated things take place, like learning new medical situations, figuring out scheduling, and handling a lot of finances. These complicated situations involve clear communication. So, if you would like help or need someone to accomplish something, then you have to clearly state your expectations and being honest about your reasons and feelings. The other person also needs to be willing to listen, not interrupt, and not jump to quick conclusions. Always ask “Why might this person being say this? What might have caused them to think or feel this way?” This level of self-reflection can help you empathize more and lead to more effective communication. Also, it might allow you to avoid negative confrontations by being more patient and understanding.
The next thing is to be clear about expectations and what everyone’s role is in the caregiving process. It can might be good to try and schedule a family meeting, and to invite those who cannot be there in person through video calling them or phoning them in the meeting. Being clear about what everyone can and cannot do, what they will or will not do, and what they want and don’t want to do can help alleviate conflict in the future. People who live far away may be able to take care of scheduling, calling doctors, or contributing financially. Others who live closer can have more direct contact with their oved one. These details need to be sorted out and distributed accordingly.
Lastly, it is important to focus on the common goal. This can be helpful when working with family members you may not get along with. One thing that you can both agree on is taking care of your mutual loved one. So, even if that is the only thing that you can safely talk about, then you can accomplish your respective roles together.
If you have any more questions, then please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website