Before you bring up the topic of memory care living with your loved one, most people find it easier to approach this process by starting with other family members such as your siblings. Unfortunately, family dynamics can throw a wrench in this already difficult decision-making process. Here’s how to navigate this difficult conversation with your siblings about your aging parent to avoid further complicating this transitional period.
Plan the Meeting Beforehand
The decision to move your aging parent into a memory care community is not only an impactful one but an emotional one too. Hence, it’s best for you to properly arrange a mutually convenient date and time to have this discussion with your siblings. Preferably, your conversation should take place in person. If your siblings live out of state, then if possible, encourage them to make plans to visit where your parent lives. Seeing is believing, and your siblings may understand better why your parent needs memory care, due to observable reasons such as frailty or cognitive decline.
Enter the Conversation with Empathy
For most families, one sibling tends to shoulder most of the responsibility of caring for their parents. If that sibling happens to be you, you may feel more strongly about your loved one’s living situation. However, your siblings have the right to say their piece about your aging parent’s move to a memory care community because your parent is theirs as well.
Oftentimes, the sibling who takes on the responsibility of being their parents’ caregiver can feel overwhelmed, which is a common reason for the elderly to move into memory care communities. However, your siblings, especially if they don’t contribute much to caregiving duties, may not understand the difficulty this role brings to your life. Unfortunately, this may lead to you receiving some pushback. Hence, try your best to curb any feelings of frustration or resentment, and instead, focus on what’s best for your parent and encourage your siblings to do the same as well.
Back up Your Arguments
In discussions such as this one, it’s always best to research as much as you can before initiating the conversation. Whether it’s the benefits of memory care or the memory care living options in your parent’s area, there’s a wealth of different topics to research when you’re moving your loved one into residential care. If you’re able to describe why memory care is the best possible option for your parent to enjoy a more fulfilling life effectively, the discussion is much more likely to be in your favor.
Generate Family Support
Despite your differences, both you and your siblings just want the best for your parents. It can be heartbreaking to see your parent succumb to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia that impair their cognitive skills. Encourage your loved ones to do their own research on memory care and your parent’s memory-related condition. Don’t be afraid to seek aid and support from your siblings, ensuring that the whole family is willing to be a part of this next stage in your parent’s journey.
If you’re looking for a care option for your parent, explore our retirement community’s unique Memory Care program today.