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.
NCHs downtown Baker Hospital will host a new 189,000-square-foot heart center, approved by the city council after nearly three years of discussions. Plans involve replacing the Telford Building at NCH Baker Hospital to expand cardiac care services in Southwest Florida. Concerns about the facilitys height and parking garage were addressed, with NCH agreeing to lower the garage by 10 feet. Despite initial skepticism, residents like Joe Frick believe the institute will be crucial for saving lives in the thriving community. NCH's CEO Paul Hiltz said the organization needed the space to keep up with the growth of Collier County and a facility upgrade to keep attracting top doctors to save lives."Stroke and heart attack continue to be the number 1 cause of death in the United States," Hiltz said. "This area, because of an older population, is in even more need of heart and stroke care." The money for the facility has been fundraised by the health care system. Hospital leaders are currently working to secure final funding, aiming to open the new cardiac center by 2026.
Prime Healthcare Passionate about SeniorsAt St. Joseph Medical Center, weve made changes to provide specialized care tailored to seniors. As the first accredited geriatric ER in KC, we identify seniors that may need extra support during or after their hospitalization. Our inpatient Senior Behavioral Health Unit provides care for adults over 55 years of age experiencing acute behavioral symptoms associated with dementia and/or other mental health conditions.Paul Hura, MD, Senior Care Services Medical Director shares, "It is an honor and privilege to care for our seniors, and these philosophies remain very important to our physicians, nurses and entire healthcare teams at St. Joseph Medical Center.St. Marys Medical Center is a patient-centered community hospital in Blue Springs, Missouri providing comprehensive quality care with state-of-the-art treatment in a warm, caring environment. With the only accredited Geriatric Emergency Department in Eastern Jackson County, Dr. Michael Liston, Cardiologist and Chief Medical Officer, understands this well. We take caring for seniors to heart. St. Marys holds numerous Grade A and 5-star ratings, while continuing to offer hometown touches such as walk-in 3D Mammograms. As a community partner with local schools, chambers, and charitable organizations, St. Marys is Your Community Hospital. StMarysKC.comIn Leavenworth, Saint John Hospital offers Senior Behavioral Health for inpatient care. During a patients stay, the unit uses a multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary approach to care. Our specialized staff supports patients and family member with comprehensive nursing care 24 hours a day. Many times, the slow loss of a loved ones sense of self and memory is confusing and difficult for the individual and their loved ones through some of the more difficult aspects of dementia, says Dr. Amand, Psychiatrist and Medical Director. Providence Medical Center is a community hospital located in Kansas City, Kansas. Committed to excellence and award-winning patient care, Providence received an A grade on the 2023-24 Lown Institute Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility. Providence achieved this honor through strong performance across metrics of health equity, patient outcomes, and value of care, out of more than 3,600 hospitals nationwide. Providence has received a five-star rating from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The star award is given based on metrics such as mortality, readmission, patient safety and patient experience. Providence is also nationally recognized in multiple service lines, receiving 18 awards with eight Five-Star ratings, according to research released by Healthgrades.