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How to Prevent Family Conflict Over Aging ParentsWhen it comes to aging parents, certain topics are often at the forefront of the conversation senior living, health care, and financial planning, to name a few. However, there is one topic that is very common but not as openly discussed: family conflict. This type of conflict usually occurs among adult children as their parents or family members go through the aging process. Disputes can also occur between parents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, or others. Disagreements often stem from the stress, sadness, denial, anger, or uncertainty people often feel when their loved ones start to need help.Family conflict over aging loved ones is especially prevalent in the state of Florida, which has such a large senior population. In fact, family conflict became such an issue that the Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts launched the Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination. This dispute resolution process was specifically created for families experiencing conflict over the care, autonomy and safety of Florida seniors.Clearly, family conflict over aging loved ones is a real issue that impacts seniors. While it is not uncommon, it can be prevented with the proper preparation, communication, knowledge, and guidance.This article will cover several aging-related topics that can lead to family conflicts, and how to best solve or prevent these issues. After all, the best outcomes for seniors occur when there is harmony and teamwork among their adult children. Situations that Can Lead to Family ConflictProblem: Uneven balance of caregiving responsibilitiesAdult children of seniors often have to handle many matters related to their aging parents. These can include taking on the role of a family caregiver, accompanying parents to medical appointments, making healthcare decisions, managing finances, driving them to all their obligations, managing their nutritional needs, performing household maintenance and chores, and many other duties.When multiple adult children are involved, it is natural for one child to take on more of the caregiving load than the others. This is often the case when one child lives much closer to their parents than the others.But when these duties are not evenly distributed among the children, some start to develop feelings of anger or bitterness toward their siblings.Solution: When feelings of bitterness and resentment start to develop, have a civil discussion with your siblings about the issue. Rather than being accusatory, try to make a plan to solve the problem. Write out all the responsibilities required for taking care of your aging parents, and specifically delegate each duty to certain people. Make sure everyone is on board with the agreement and is assigned a role that is achievable for them. Keep the list somewhere everyone can access it, whether it be a printed copy for each family member, or even a shared Google Doc. Plan to have frequent check-in meetings to make sure everyone is doing their part and discuss any concerns that have arisen.For example, one child who lives nearby can be in charge of driving their parents to appointments, while another child who lives farther away can take on the role of managing their finances. Or, if one person is unable to physically help, perhaps they would be willing to contribute financially to help make the other childrens roles a little easier whether that be by paying for respite care, a geriatric care manager, hospice care, or another service. Problem: One sibling is being excluded from the decision-makingSometimes, one child will take over most of the decision-making for their senior parents, causing the other siblings to feel as though they are being left in the dark about these important issues. Solution: In these situations, communication is key. In a calm manner, tell your sibling how you are feeling. It could be that they are simply unaware of their actions. Or, they might have thought they were making their siblings lives easier by not involving them. Explain your point of view and that you want to be more involved in matters relating to your aging parents. From there, you can work together to make an arrangement that you are included in.Problem: Disagreements about the amount of care neededFor some people, it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that their parents needs and abilities are changing. This can lead to denial or avoidance of the situation which is not only harmful for the seniors, but can also cause disagreements between adult children.In other situations, some adult children may believe their parents are able to safely age in place in their own home, while others may think senior living would be the best choice.Solution: Sometimes a professional outside opinion is all it takes for people to come to an agreement about their parents care needs. Consult your parents doctors for a professional report about their health status and changes in ability. It is also wise to contact an expert senior advisor like Florida Senior Consulting to conduct necessary assessments and make professional recommendations for the senior. A senior advisor can also help inform about all the possible options, whether that be in-home care or senior living. Along with involving outside sources, siblings can work together to research the situation at hand. For example, if the seniors are experiencing memory issues like dementia, adult children can research this topic to learn what level of care is often recommended in these situations. This method is always a good place to start and helps everyone be on the same page about their loved ones needs.Problem: Disagreements about end-of-life care and estate planningEstate planning and end-of-life care can be uncomfortable or delicate topics to discuss. Because of their complexity, these matters can often lead to disagreements among adult children.Solution: In these tricky situations, it is often best to leave the decisions up to your parents. If possible, have them choose a power of attorney and set up advance directives like a living will and health care surrogate designation before a crisis occurs. This will prevent any future conflicts that could arise among family members if these designations are not in place.If a crisis occurs and your parents do not have these documents or their estate in order, it is best to contact an elder law attorney, a financial planner that specializes in elder affairs, and possibly a family mediator to help with inheritances. These professionals can help get the situation sorted out without the risk of a conflict developing between family members.Next Steps for Adult Children to Help their Aging ParentsDont let conflicts about your aging parents tear your family apart. In difficult times, it is important for families to come together so the seniors in your life can receive the best care possible. This positive outcome is only achieved when the adult children work together as a team. After all, as Helen Keller once said, Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.If you and your family need guidance on how to best help your aging loved ones, always contact a professional. Florida Senior Consulting will help you every step of the way, from deciding the right plan for care, finding the best assisted living community, packing, moving, and everything in between.Our expert senior advisors are local to Florida and will help you and find the best care possible.Call (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com to get started today.Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.
You have probably seen advertisements for senior care referral services promising to find the best retirement community care for you or a loved one at no cost to you. Some of these services even utilize paid celebrity spokespersons to pitch their senior living placement services. However, these services do have a high cost in the form of missed opportunities. It is important for you to understand how these retirement community referral services such as A Place for Mom, Caring.com and SeniorAdvisor work.Some retirement communities pay to playMany retirement community referral services tout their services as free to the consumer, implying the assistance they provide is done as part of a not-for-profit model. This couldnt be further from the case. These retirement community referral services require senior living providers to pay high fees for inclusion on the services list of preferred communities. Many consumers assume, incorrectly, that a services preferred communities are evaluated or rated based on the quality of care provided. Unfortunately, the only reason a senior living facility earns this preferred status is simply that the retirement community has opted to pay a fee. A high fee. If a free service recommends a particular retirement community to you, be sure to do your own research to confirm it truly is the right fit for you or your loved one.Retirement community advisors paid by commissionMany retirement community referral services employ advisors who assist consumers by calling a toll-free phone number seeking help and advice in finding senior care. According to one referral services website, The advisor will conduct an assessment to gather information on you or your loved ones lifestyle, care needs and budget. The website omits an important piece of information: Advisors are often paid commissions when a caller moves into a recommended retirement community. This encourages advisors to recommend more expensive locations as the cost paid by participating retirement communities is typically one months rent, which may be equivalent to several thousand dollars.It is important to know the qualifications of the person advising you in such an important life decision. Ask the advisor about his/her professional qualifications to truly understand you or your loved ones needs and why he/she recommends a particular retirement community. If the advisor cannot list specific qualifications, you are most likely interacting with a subcontractor whose top concern may not be in your best interest. In fact, these individuals may do more harm than good since the senior living facility suggested might not always be based on your or your loved ones needs, rather driven by the prospective commission fee to be earned. Find out for yourself and ask the advisor how he/she is paid and ask for the individuals qualifications to make recommendations.Quality care in each featured retirement community is not guaranteedWhile the retirement community referral service advisor may seem to care deeply about your personal situation, it is critical to know that this person is doing his/her job. Once the advisor makes retirement community recommendations, arranges tours and assists you in making your final decision, this is where the relationship ends. Most times a free service will not monitor the care received by you or your loved one at the senior living facility. You can take things a step further by asking your advisor if the retirement community referral service carries liability insurance. If he/she asks you to sign a document stating that the retirement community referral service is not liable for the quality of care received at the recommended location, DO NOT use the service.Honesty is more than not lyingWhile conducting research for this article, we called a retirement community referral service for a first-hand experience. When inquiring specifically about a Country Meadows Retirement Communities location, the advisor said, You dont want to go there. They are too expensive. In truth, the three retirement communities the advisor recommended cost more or were the same monthly cost as Country Meadows.
An excerpt from Scott Millers presentation, Florida Retirement Guide: Senior Living, Care Options, Family Choices & Future TrendsFrequently Asked Question: Are There Senior Living Communities in Florida That Have All Forms of Care in One Place?Yes, there are senior living communities that have all forms of care in one place. These communities exist on a very limited basis with a pricey model. Its called a CCRC. A CCRC is a continuing care retirement community, which means every level of care is available on one campus except the hospital. You have independent living, assisted living, memory care, and you have skilled nursing all in one environment. Those come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Westminster Point Pleasant in Bradenton, Florida is an example. Westminster is a large not-for-profit that has CCRCs all over the state of Florida. Very well run model if thats something youre considering. Some of the disadvantages to a CCRC: most of them are buy-ins, which means you have to come up with a pretty good sum of money up front to be able to get in. Now Im going to give you a sticker shock. Those buy-ins can be anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million, and more. The good ones are the not-for-profits. Be leery of for-profit CCRCs. Because if they take that money up front, you want to be sure that that money is being well-invested. That money is there to create a profit pool, to maintain that property, to invest in that property, to reinvest in its residents, but many of the for-profit companies dont do it that way. So if youre ever looking for that environment, look at the not-for-profit first and then know that youre going to be paying some money up front. Now the advantage. If you went to a Westminster community, for example, it costs you maybe $100,000 to $175,000 up front. The communities are to the nines, theyre beautiful, and their care model is incredible. Whats really nice is the money you put up front can be a declining balance back to you or your estate, and it locks in amongst the people that you would pay for as long as you live. And, its much lower than most assisted living communities. So, you could pay $150,000 up front. Theyll take away 2% of that per month. So over the course of 4 years that money goes away. If you only stay 2, half of it comes back to you. You can pay more and theyll guarantee you a 90% rate back over time. The nice part is the cost of living there which they dont call rent, they call maintenance is somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000 dollars a month, all inclusive. You end up in a place where everything is covered. Try to compare the costs of living at home versus in an assisted living environment. Those figures are important when you understand the total costs that go into that particular community. Nobody really knows how much theyre actually paying at home unless they are very, very budget conscious. But, $3,000 a month to be in that environment is very inexpensive when you consider that its three meals a day, seven days a week, your utilities, all of your maintenance, all of the upkeep, anything you could imagine, and full care delivery as you age. And in these communities you can age in place, so if you have to go over to skilled nursing, you dont pay a dime. If you have to go into memory care, you dont pay a dime more. Florida CCRCs are a great option to consider if you are looking for all your senior care in one place.-Scott Miller, CEO of Florida Senior ConsultingDont wait for a crisis! Florida Senior Consulting is here to help you prepare for your retirement journey and find the best senior living communities in Florida, including CCRCs.Call us today at (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com to start your journey. The choice should be yours.
Making a move at any age can be difficult and stressful. After 30, 40, or even 50 years in your current home, the process of rightsizing and relocating to a new home is overwhelming. WeCare Senior Relocation Services offers assistance in relocating seniors to Independent Living, Assisted Living, and internal moves within a senior living community. Our team of Senior Move Managers can help you or your family members decide what to take with them to their new home to ensure their safety, assist with creating a floor plan, determine what you should donate or gift to friends and relatives, packing, unpacking, as well as the physical move. Our main goal is to curate your new home so you or your loved one can quickly settle in and start enjoying life's next chapter. Allow us to alleviate your stress and anxiety by carrying the burden of coordinating your move so that you can feel relief and joy going into the upcoming move. So remember, "WeCare about your move, so you don't have to!"