Sometimes, it happens overnight. Your mother is rushed to the hospital, and as the oldest child, your home becomes the Oval Office, a place where your siblings and other family members gather to decide what comes next. Sometimes, the fighting among concerned parties happens over a span of weeks or months as a parent declines. Either way, a debate about what it will cost and what care is best often precedes making a decision about a next steps for a senior friend or family member.
So how can you avoid family politics as usual when it’s time to make a senior care decision, especially in cases where time is of the essence? Consider these tips:
1. Get everyone involved who wants to be involved. It may come down to one person making an executive decision or the debates would never end. However, if you welcome and consider input from other family members before charging ahead, they’re less likely to sabotage your decision or resent you for it in days, weeks and months to come.
2. Find common ground wherever and whenever you can. You may never agree with your sister about where Mom should live, but if you both agree that no more than a certain amount be spent on care each month, work from there.
3. Keep your family member’s preferences at the forefront of discussions. Don’t know what Dad prefers? Ask him before going any further.
4. If things get too heated and no clear decision emerges, hire an elder care mediator. (Learn more about these professionals here.)
Happy President’s Day from SeniorsforLiving.com! If you’re making any kind of senior care or housing decision now or in the near future, you’ll find a wealth of resources here.