It’s that time of year when families gather around the dinner table and share a holiday meal and reminisce with family members they may see only once or twice a year. It’s great to get together and renew that family bond with loved ones who no longer live nearby….or not. The holidays in general can be very stressful times. There just isn’t enough time for all the preparations, shopping, and cooking when you also are taking care of someone along with going to work and dealing with your own immediate family. Add to that what might be the difficult and complicated dynamics of dealing with family members who are not directly involved with your care of your aging parent or loved one, and you may end up with some very unpleasant holiday “celebrations”.
That family gathering can be a golden opportunity to make arrangements to get together with siblings at a later date to make some caregiving decisions with your loved one. I wouldn’t recommend having a meeting during your holiday celebration but half of the work is already done —- for once you’re all together in the same place at the same time. Try to decide on a good time to meet again and involve all the family members in some caregiving decisions. It’s a great opportunity to clearly share your feelings and information about what’s going on in your loved one’s life. Are there any decisions to be made? Do you need some help? How can your family members provide some support? Everyone has different talents and can bring something to the table. Some are good at finances, some have some medical knowledge, or someone could give some time so you can take a much needed break. This is the opportunity to as a group help determine the direction your loved one’s care needs to go. If you’ve been the primary caregiver, you can solicit some help. If the care needs are greater than what the family can provide you can discuss the options of getting outside help. Outside help comes in many degrees ranging from companionship for your loved one, to personal care or even living in. Also consider the option of some respite care for yourself.
Once you’ve identified your loved one’s needs, a family meeting will allow everyone involved to express their ideas and acknowledge their own feelings. This is not a time for blame but rather a chance to get everyone on the same page and to be active participants in the care of a loved parent or elder. Leave the door open for further discussions as your loved one’s needs change. Use the holiday get together as a stepping stone for future progress. How have you gotten family members together to make these types of decisions? Share below and visit us at http://www.trilliumhomecare.com