Resolving Family Conflict Over Caregiving Issues

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Having arguments with family members over how best to care for your loved one? Being a caregiver is stressful enough without the added friction of family disagreements! If you find yourself struggling with these two-fold problems, then this article is for you! Here are a few tips to help you cope with all of your loved ones, well meaning or otherwise.

First, try and line up your perception as the caregiver versus the opinion of the opposing family caregiver(s). Keep in mind that you view the illness of your loved one in a unique way, based on your personal experience while care-giving. You know how you see the picture. Ask your family member how he or she sees the picture. Here are some basic realities to establish a baseline on caregiving issues:

  1. Do you agree on the diagnosis and the extent of the illness?
  2. Do you agree on the eventual outcome of the illness?
  3. Do you agree on how much care is needed?
  4. Do you agree on who should provide the care?
  5. Do you agree on what your loved one can no longer do for himself or herself?
  6. Do you agree that family caregivers should be in control and to what extent?

If you are dealing with a family member that is either in denial or in the dark on your loved one’s illness, then provide education to that person. In addition to sharing your experiences with them, back it up with research. Use the internet, library, pamphlets from medical sources etc. Seek advice from professionals related to your loved one’s illness. Home health professionals are excellent resources, as well as support groups and disease organization staff. These add-on professionals ca often take more time with you than your doctor, and at no charge.

If you and your family are unsure about what to do on a caregiving issue, then please seek professional advice. This gives you an unemotional opinion. The other benefit of talking with a professional is seeing into the future. Home health care professionals deal with patients and family caregivers all the time. They can help predict what you should be ready for as a caregiver. They can also make suggestions on how best to care for your loved one, now, and in the future.

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