Caring for Family Members

When a member of your family needs care, many of his or her loved ones will likely jump on the opportunity to help out. For better or worse, caregiving is often family-centric, meaning many different members of the family may have to work together in ways they have not in a long while.

Whether it’s siblings caring for a parent or more distant relatives caring for a cousin, caregiving tends to involve the entire family, and conflicts are almost certain to arise, even in the most amicable families. Here are common caregiving conflicts to watch out for in your family as you come together to help a loved one.

No One Seems to Help

If one family member lives near the loved one who requires care, they may become the primary caregiver automatically and take on the majority of caregiving tasks. reports that more often than not, other family members want to help with caregiving tasks but do not know how. Other times, family members may be reluctant to help out at all.

Sibling Conflicts

Caring for a parent or other loved one is likely to bring out the best and worst in sibling relationships. The stress and anxiety over a parent’s well-being mixed with the legacy of family dynamics and potential personality clashes can be a recipe for disaster for some siblings, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. Generally, open communication among siblings can make sharing responsibilities easier and may keep sibling discord to a minimum.

Long-distance is a Problem

Very few American families continue to live in a nuclear family setting once they are out of school, and if a family is spread throughout the nation, it can be difficult for them to come together to care for a loved one. While not every member may be able to provide physical, hands-on care for the relative, there are usually behind-the-scenes tasks they can do long-distance.

No One Can Agree

Family caregiving is challenging even for the most harmonious of families, so when family members do not get along to begin with, coming together to care for a loved one can be even more difficult. When relatives are arguing over who will do what and what is best for Mom or Grandpa, the care for that individual will suffer. Families that are facing frustrating conflicts may want to solicit the help of a legal counsel or spiritual leader to act as a third party in family discussions and decisions.

Let Us Help

To get more information on how to deal with family conflict that comes with caring for a parent, contact a Brookdale national senior living advisor at the number listed above.