The care of an elderly loved one can create tensions between relatives, but if everyone is willing to communicate and see other perspectives lots of family drama can be avoided
The holidays are a great time to reunite with loved ones and be with family you haven’t seen all year. For families dealing with eldercare challenges the joy of seeing each other is often ruined by arguments and tensions created because of eldercare issues.
Not too long ago a family hired me to provide information and develop a care plan for their mother who’d had health issues for several years and then suffered a stroke in 2015 that left her almost totally incapacitated. The siblings are close and all work very effectively together for the family business. Unfortunately they couldn’t agree on the best course of care for their mother. The lack of agreement caused many arguments, ruined holiday celebrations, and led to intense stress which eventually effected both their home lives and their work productivity (side note: the average person providing care to an elderly loved one experiences an 18.5% DECREASE in work place productivity).
After speaking with the siblings individually and collectively it became obvious that the “real” issue wasn’t lack of information but lack of perspective, lack of communication, and complicated sibling dynamics.
There are three siblings Eve, Karl, and Bobby. Eve and Karl are twins and Bobby is their significantly older brother. Eve, has a young family and lives closest to their mother’s house-five minutes away. Karl is single and runs a significant portion of the family business from a satellite office 3 hours away. Bobby is also married with a wife and children (aged 10, 13, and 15) but lives in another state with his family. Each cares deeply for their mother, but have different relationships with her. They also have very different perspectives concerning care based on their own individual circumstances and stages of life.
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