Preventing Conflicts with Elder Caregivers

Working with a loved one's caregiver

Aging in a natural part of life, but it often leaves adult children concerned about the safety and wellbeing of a parent. A caregiver provides the assistance that an elderly parent needs as he or she ages, but sometimes disagreements occur. Learning ways to resolve problems with a loved one’s caregiver provides the opportunity to maintain a strong relationship with loved ones and still ensure that he or she receives the best possible care.

Ways Issues Arise

The issues that arise with a caregiver depend on several factors, including the individual providing care and his or her relationship to a loved one. Common disagreements that occur when a loved one needs a caregiver include:

  • The loved one’s condition and needs
  • Rivalries that date back several years, particularly among siblings
  • Financial costs associated with caring for a loved one
  • The burden of actually providing care for an aging parent or loved one

 

In general, issues that do not involve siblings or family disagreements that date back to childhood continue growing and changing as a loved one’s health deteriorates. The emotional and physical burdens of caring for an elderly loved one increase as his or her health changes and the cost of medical care increases. Furthermore, a loved one’s physical condition and mental health also changes over time.

Communicate with the Caregiver

Whether elderly parents set up a power of attorney or an individual stepped up after an emergency to provide appropriate care, the family must work together to determine the next step if a loved one’s care. A simple solution is talking about the issues and working through an agreement based on the information available and the recommendations of a medical professional.

When a conflict occurs, talk openly with a caregiver about your concerns. Explain the reasons why you feel their actions are not acceptable or their decisions are wrong for a loved one’s health. Allow the caregiver to respond and listen to his or her reasons for the decision.

Divide the Tasks

Reduce the tension and the burden on a caregiver by dividing up some of the tasks. Take on the task of cooking for a loved one and the caregiver after a doctor’s appointment or offer to help with cleaning or other tasks around the house.

By dividing up tasks, you help a caregiver focus on the important tasks required for a loved one’s health. You also prevent a caregiver from feeling resentful, angry or overwhelmed by the situation.

It’s also important to make sure that the caregivers have the proper tools and necessities to make his or her job as easy as possible. Some examples of proper tools include wheelchairs, maintenance, medication inventory, containers and, of course, incontinence garments like our men’s maximum absorbency briefs or women’s panties. The right tools for taking care of the elderly can make a world of difference!

Consider Professional Help

If the conflict gets out of control and prevents appropriate care for a loved one, then consider mediation from a third party. Sometimes, a third party identifies the problems more clearly and makes a suggestion that was not considered before seeking help for the conflict.

Helping an aging loved one places a burden on the entire family, but that does not mean it must end in confrontations and arguments. Prevent major problems by resolving issues before they cause complications with a loved one’s care. Talk to the caregiver openly and get involved by offering to help. Communication is the key to caring for a loved one effectively while preventing long-term conflicts with other family members and loved ones.

 

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