When your parents become too old to care for themselves, knowing how to begin the conversation about their retirement needs can be challenging. Do you comfort them and let them know they’re not alone? Or do you discuss finances, logistics, and other issues first? It can be hard to know where to start. Thankfully, there are ways to talk with your siblings about your parent’s care plan without feeling like a soapbox oracle. Here are some tips on how to discuss caring for a parent with your sibling:
Plan a Meeting
When it comes time to talk with your siblings about senior living for a parent, it’s important to plan a meeting. This will allow everyone to have their say and come to a consensus. Here are some tips on how to have the conversation:
- Make sure you are all in the same place mentally and emotionally. This is a difficult conversation for everyone involved, and it will be easier if you are all on the same page.
- Don’t try to do it over the phone or via email – this needs to be face-to-face so that everyone can see and read body language.
- Sit down together and list topics that need to be covered. This will help keep the conversation on track.
Prepare Your Evidence
This means that you need to have a realistic idea of the level of assistance your parent needs and be able to communicate that effectively. Gathering information and preparing for the conversation will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and can work together as a team.
One of the most important things to do is, to be honest with yourself and your siblings. If you aren’t sure what type of care your parent needs, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Many resources are available, including doctors, social workers, and geriatric care managers. They can help you assess your parent’s situation and develop a care plan that meets their needs.
Be Prepared for Resistance from Your Siblings
Siblings may feel like they are being pushed out of the decision-making process or that their voices are not being heard. It is important to remember that this conversation is about what is best for the parent, not about creating conflict between siblings.
The best way to approach this conversation is by starting with the facts. Share what you have learned about senior care options and what you think might be the best fit for your parent. Let siblings know that you want their input and that you value their opinion. Be open to discussion and be prepared to compromise.
If there is disagreement among siblings, it is important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer. The most important thing is that everyone agrees on a plan that they can all support.
Consider an Elder Care Mediator
This is especially true when siblings live in different states or cannot agree on what type of care their parent needs. Sometimes, family members may refuse to speak with one another. If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider using an elder care mediator.
An elder care mediator is a neutral third party who can help families communicate and agree about their parent’s care. They can provide information about the options available to the family and help them work through any disagreements they may have.
Using an elder care mediator can be beneficial for several reasons. First, it can help reduce stress and tension within the family. This is important if there are already existing conflicts among family members.
Talk about What Your Parent Needs
You’ll need to decide who will take on what responsibilities and how you’ll all work together to ensure your parent is well taken care of.
The first step is to discuss what kind of care your parent needs. Does she need help with basic tasks like bathing and dressing, or do they need more specialized care? Once you know what type they need, you can start discussing who will provide it.
If your parent lives close by, one of you may be able to move in with her or take on most of the caregiving duties. If they live far away, you’ll need to come up with a plan for regular visits or coordinating care with a local provider.