Page 15 - Senior Housing Directory 2020 South Central Michigan
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on the parent with full intent.
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 seen from...
• One sibling lives close by so he will start helping with small things. A year later he is spending 40+ 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 resent- ment 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.
• 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 consequences. They are not focused on care needs or the skills of the adult children or address the distribution of caregiving support equitably. Parents, you have the ability to help diminish sibling rivalry behaviors from getting in the way of helping to ensure the best quality of life possible.
The solution for finding the best caregiving options takes a great- er investment of time but yields better results; it’s time for a family meeting.
Schedule a family meeting to seek an agree- ment regarding who will do what, if anyone is paid and how that will work, will someone move in, 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 simply cannot agree, or you cannot keep from picking sides, then a neutral person leading this meeting might be required.
When caregiving begins, it is important
to keep all siblings up to date. Whether it’s finances, doctor appointment results, or house- hold tasks... communicate, communicate, communicate. You can pre-empt frustrations by
respectfully making sure you continue to share the same information with all involved in caregiving.
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.
   Note to loved ones: You should start the conversation when you notice:
• Clutter, bills, and mail pilling up.
• An accident occurs.
• Health concerns change lifestyle.
• Unusual behaviors.
• Finances are neglected.
• Confusion with managing medications.
• Parent loosing a lot of weight.
• Parent neglecting basic hygiene.
• Appears in inappropriate clothing.
• Missing appointments.
• Forgetfulness becomes dominant.
• Signs of depression.
• Care needs exceed manageability.
• Safety becomes an issue.
If any of the above signs become prom- inent it is time to seek additional assistance. A change in environment might be just what is needed for your loved one to thrive once again and to give you peace of mind.
 Memory loss requires
specialized care.
Fortunately, that’s our speciality.
CARING for someone experiencing memory loss can be difficult. That’s why we employ experts who really understand and have a passion for caring for those who live with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
AT NORTHPOINTE WOODS A Trilogy Senior Living Community
269-964-4655 • 706 North Avenue • Battle Creek, MI 49017 • •

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