Page 13 - Senior Times November 2018 25-11
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Senior Times - November 2018 Page 13Resources such as Home Instead Senior Care, Area Agencies on Aging, senior millage programs, local senior centers, and church families can help provide those solutions.Be aware of the whole situation. If your dad passes and soon afterward your mom's house seems to be in disarray, it's probably not because she suddenly became ill. It's much more likely to stem from a lack of social support and the loss of a life-long relationship. Make sure that your mom has friends and a social life. If not, help her to build new relationships. You may find new ways for her to take on a larger role in your life or the lives of your children or grand children.Address sibling issues to reduce impact on parents. Sadly resentment can creep in when siblings disagree about care. It does not matter if the frustrations result from disagreements about care, unbalanced care responsibilities, conflicts with personal needs, or feeling left out of care decisions because a family member lives so far away, sibling rivalry erupts and can get emotion- ally-charged. Old family issues are brought back to life and the redirection can blur the focus of care... the aging parent. Sometimes siblings must address their interpersonal relationships and ten- sions before they can focus on the parent with full intent.Address why sibling tensions arise. Not only do previous relationships surface but also new emotions as you watch your parent(s) decline. The reality is that everyone has different waysof coping with their parent’s aging from denial to anger and sadness and even fear. As a result, frustrations and youth-like competitions might surface as arguments over who does all the work, who doesn’t show up to help, who is in charge of health decisions, or who is in charge of finances, and the like.Address caregiving responsibilities thought- fully. It’s important to first determine what the needs are before you automatically start assum- ing one family member or another will do them. Common tendencies and frustrations have been experienced because of complications from...• One sibling lives close by so he will start help- ing with small things. A year later he is spending40+ hours a week there and anger is building because the other siblings are not doing their ‘fair share.’• One sibling should be the primary caregiver because they don’t work and can get paid for caregiving. This soon turns to resentment when it appears that Mom or Dad are running out of money.• One sibling needs a place to stay. In the short term it seems like a good idea because it will help both of them. In the long term, talking starts because they are taking advantage of them.• Or it might be as simple as the son does the physical work and handles the finances and the daughter provides the emotional support. The reality is that neither might have those strengths and the end result is a broken down house with a spent bank account.While these initial assumptions sound great on the surface, they can all have long-term conse- quences. None are truly focused on the care needs of the seniors or the skills of the siblings. None address the distribution of caregiving equitably.Mom and/or Dad as well as all siblings shouldbe there to discus tasks that need to be completed to ensure the best quality of life for them. Then agreement needs to be reached regarding who will do what, if anyone is paid and how that will work, will someone live with them, and when is professional assistance the next step. If caregiving is already out of balance then rebalancing needs to be on the agenda. And finally, if siblings sim- ply cannot agree, or the parent cannot keep from picking sides, then a neutral person leading this meeting might be required.The solution for finding the best caregiving options takes a greater investment of timebut yields better results; it’s time for a family meeting.When caregiving begins it is important to keep all siblings up to date. Whether it’s finances, doctor appointment results, or household tasks... communicate, communicate, communicate. Please realize that Mom and/or Dad will likely tell dif- ferent siblings different stories. Shocking I know. And yet, siblings still are amazed by it. You can pre-empt frustrations by making sure you contin- ue to share what each is experiencing.Even though it might seem like it... it’s never too late to talk, but starting today could make the road ahead a lot smoother. Conversation starters might be when:• Health concerns change their lifestyle. • An accident occurs.• The house is a mess.• Forgetfulness becomes dominant.• Managing medications seems overwhelming. • Siblings are feuding over care.• Safety becomes an issue.• Finances seem to be unmanageable.• Your parent moves on after the loss of a loved one.• Your parent brings issues to you. • And so many more...The full 40-70 Rule Booklet developed by Home Instead Senior Care is a great resource. It is 24 pages of potential solutions. It is available by pdf and can be downloaded by going to www. caregiverstress.com.TOMAK and PODOLSKY, PLLC269-965-3185IT’S ABOUT YOU.When you need legal help, you deserve a Law Firm that will work for you.We are a differentCall us today anddifference for yourself.Kellie E. PodolskyProbate & Estate Planning : Your family and your wishes. Trusted and respected to help YOU make YOUR decisions regardingyour estate, your property, your health care plans and your legacy. Wills • Power of Attorney • Trusts • DeedsFREE CONSULTATIONS for Probate & Estate Planning Clients601 S. Shore Dr. #329, Battle Creek 49014 ToPoLaw.com • (269) 965-3185 • Find us on facebook!


































































































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