It’s often difficult to agree with your siblings and family members when it comes to your senior parents, but the workshops sponsored by AgeFriendly BC on Feb. 22 and 23, for family and caregivers of seniors, may help make it easier. They will help siblings and caregivers overcome family conflict while caring for their aging parents and seniors.
Adult children often have a hard time making decisions that everyone in the family is happy with. These issues may come to the forefront more often when the family is under stress.
The top stressors are:
Illness –When the senior parent’s health becomes an issue, the adult children find the need to help more and make more joint decisions together.
Money – If the senior parent’s funds begin to run low and the senior is lonely or can’t provide the basic needs for themselves because of it, adult children may find conflicts arising. Everyone has different ideas about how to make arrangements for the future and everyone has a different level of ability to help.
Inheritance – As senior’s age, they may begin making plans about who will inherit certain things and begin making their wills. This often raises the old rivalries about who is “Mom’s favorite” or what a fair distribution might be.
Distance – When some adult children are close and some are far away, the closer ones generally end up with the majority of the responsibilities surrounding the senior. A sense of unfairness may cause conflict.
Stress – Stress affects both the senior and busy family members. When everyone is stressed, it is easier to be irritable with each other and misunderstandings happen.
Temperaments – When there are different temperaments in the family, conflicts happen as different things are important to individual family members. They each think the senior should be treated as they would like to be treated…but it may not be true.
Roles – If the oldest adult child was always responsible when they were young, they may assume that they still should be the responsible ones. The middle children may still feel like peace making and the youngest children may be more concerned with freedom.
In a recent study, it was determined that in 41 per cent of the cases, only one person has most of the responsibility of caring for the senior and their needs.
Cornell University recently completed a study and results indicate that mothers between 65 and 75 are willing to name favorite children when previously they were unwilling to do so. Often they want to be cared for by their favorites. In 64 per cent of the cases, this was the youngest child because they were the most recent to have been emotionally close to the parent and the most recent to have provided support in the past.
Parents often reported that they chose their caregiving children by who was most emotionally close to them, most similar to them, shared attitudes and values, and provided support in the past.
It then makes sense that the study found that the youngest children often live closest and because they have the most recent history with the parents, they may seem to the parents to be the logical caregivers. But, of course, this is not always the case.
Attend the workshops and learn other interesting things too. The workshops, facilitated by Grace Baker, run between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the multi-purpose room at the Ridge school (municipal hall) in Barriere. To register call 778-220-5930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Anyone can attend. If you did not attend the previous workshops, please arrive at 9 a.m. on Feb. 22, to get up to date.
The workshops will cover family conflict, as well as resolving conflict over financial, health and personal care when seniors have cognitive decline or dementia.
There will be a great deal of resources provided to the participants. Resources will include, but not be limited to; care guides, booklets on how you can help, information on the Public Guardian and Trustee, booklets on Power of Attorney and Private Committees.
There is no charge for this workshop.
Everyone is welcome to attend. You can attend for just one day or two, whatever works for you. Please register to ensure there are materials for you at the workshop by calling 778-220-5930.