One of the most trying aspects of life comes when a family member is aging. Whether the argument is over driving privileges, housing options, or financial issues, getting older can definitely take its toll on even the closest of families.
In order to avoid these kinds of family conflicts and trying arguments, verse your family in these tips to make getting older a less frustrating process.
Arguments build over time when the people affected do not speak up soon enough. Avoiding family conflicts becomes easier when everyone understands how someone is feeling. If your mother or father do not want to give up their right to drive a car, it is important that he or she says so. If your children think it is important for you to stop driving for your safety, it is also important that they say so. Heated arguments can be avoided, if you just take a little time to listen and communicate how you are feeling.
Now that you have learned to communicate your feelings, it is also important to be sensitive. Aging is a hard process for everyone, and there is no right way to settle your affairs. Be sure to be patient and kind when discussing matters such as housing, diet, exercise or driving. This way, elderly family members are more likely to come to compromises with their children or other relatives.
Finally, remember that things change. While one situation may have worked out for you and your family in the past, it may be time to move on to new and better things. By understanding that aging happens to the best of us, you are that much closer to still living your life.
Tips To Help Your Family
Here are 6 tips to help avoid family conflicts:
State the problem and determine who needs to work together to develop the solution. When family members clearly identify a problem, they can begin to work on it. However, when people don’t acknowledge the problem, or avoid discussing it altogether, a successful resolution becomes impossible.
Establish ground rules for resolving the problem. Before discussing ways to resolve the problem, set some rules for the discussion. For example, agree that no one will call anyone names, or ban yelling. Encourage small breaks from the discussion if tempers flare, and emphasize the importance of resolving conflict peacefully.
Brainstorm solutions to the problem. Allow everyone involved to offer input into potential solutions. During the brainstorming process, don’t judge whether each solution is good or bad, but instead, create a list of potential solutions.
Evaluate the risks and benefits of each potential solution. Listen to each family member’s input about the pros and cons of the solutions.
Reach a solution as a team. Try to reach a consensus about which solution will best resolve the conflict. Be willing to negotiate, and encourage family members to be open to new solutions.
Identify what each family member will do to work on the solution. Each person should identify action steps he or she will take to work toward the solution.
There are many ways you can prepare your family for the transitions that come with aging together. Want to learn more about professional caregiving, conflict resolutions, and solving family conflicts?
Check out CareAcademy’s Eldercare Classes for more.
Elayne has been a professional geriatric care manager for more than 25 years. She was a founding member of the Florida Geriatric Care Managers Association, and she is currently a member of the Case Management Society of America and the American Counseling Association. Elayne is a passionate and caring Alzheimer’s advocate, and a professional trainer and educator.