While aging is a natural process, watching one’s parents getting older isn’t easy. In fact, it’s something that affects each individual differently.
The way that you and your other family members react to your parents aging will not necessarily be the same. It can be stressful and even cause disputes within your family.
Don’t get too worried if this happens in your family, as family disputes over aging parents can be dealt with in the correct manner. Here are 10 simple yet effective ways to deal with family conflicts over aging parents.
The key to avoiding and overcoming any dispute is communication. Often, we don’t know what the other person is thinking or feeling, which results in us behaving a certain way.
That’s why open communication is absolutely necessary to avoid any kind of misunderstanding. Speak to your family about how you feel and ask them how they feel as well. Once everything is out in the open, you can discuss the issues at hand and how to solve them.
Call a Family Meeting
Sometimes, the only way to solve family disputes is to call out a family meeting. Get everyone to come together and discuss the issues at hand. During this meeting, the primary caregiver can highlight the parents’ needs to the rest of the family. This will allow them everyone the opportunity to be a part of the conversation and brainstorm together about what to do.
If the issue has gotten out of hand, a face-to-face family meeting may be the best way to solve it. Make sure that each family member is present for the meeting so that the issues can be solved effectively.
Get A Mediator
If you feel that the dispute isn’t getting resolved amongst yourselves and it only seems to be getting worse, it may be time to get a mediator involved. This could lessen the burden from your shoulders and lead to some progress being made.
The mediator should preferably be someone from outside the family so that it is unbiased and doesn’t lead to further issues. Try and get someone who isn’t involved in the matter in any way and will be fair in dealing with the issue at hand.
Try and Understand Other’s Point of View
For progress to be made and any issue to be resolved, you need to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Instead of getting angry at them based on their actions, try and understand where they’re coming from and why they are behaving that way.
Each person will have his or her unique point of view and understanding it will help you solve the dispute sooner. For example, maybe they are giving a suggestion about your aging parents based on something they’ve read about. So instead of shutting their idea down completely, try and understand their point of view so that you can further reason with them.
Another way of dealing with family disputes over parents is to divide responsibilities between family members. If there are disputes related to one or two of the family members taking up more work than the rest, then divide responsibilities equally between the immediate family.
For instance, the children can take turns in looking after the aged parents. This way, not only will there be fewer fights and disputes but it will also cause less resentment between family members. Another way to do is is by distributing different chores between them, so if one looks after the medical bills, someone else can look after the household expenses, and so on.
Get an Expert’s Input
If the fights are related to issues related to what’s best for your parents, the best option is to get an expert’s opinion. For example, if some family members think something is better for them but the rest think something else is, just consult a professional so that no one gets offended and disputes aren’t caused. Since it will be an expert’s opinion, no one will really even be able to argue against it.
Keep Everyone In The Loop
A major cause of family disputes is that some members may feel like they are being excluded or not kept up to date with whatever’s going on. One way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that all family members are kept updated with anything going on with the aging parents. Even if it’s something small that you don’t consider big news, make it a point to tell the rest of the family so that these issues don’t arise.
Seek Family Therapy
If you feel that the disputes are getting you nowhere and instead just ruining the relationship between family members, then you might want to consider going for family therapy. This could help overcome the core issues and come to a substantial conclusion, as well as keep the relationships intact.
Call For a Time Out
Sometimes, all you need is a time out. If the disputes have been going on for a while and don’t seem to be going anywhere, then the best thing you can do for the moment is call for a break.
Everyone should take some time out to clear their heads so that they can get a fresh perspective and come up with great solutions. This time off can even lead them to come to realizations and see where they were wrong in the dispute.
Take the High Road
Always remember two wrongs don’t make a right. Even if you know that your siblings or other family members may be being unreasonable when it comes to your aging parents, be the bigger person and take the high road. Even if one person is calm, you will be surprised at the difference this can make and lead to an end in the dispute. Your family could end up being inspired by you and follow your example!
With the help of these 10 tips, you can put an end to the disputes over your aging parents. If you don’t believe us, try them yourself!