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Overcoming Family Conflicts When Making Long-Term Care Decisions

When loved ones reach a point in their lives when they cannot live safely without assistance, families are often forced to make difficult decisions that require cooperation with their siblings and others in the family. As many can attest, it is often difficult for families to put aside past differences and personal opinions in order to reach a compromise.

The problem:

When important legal, health and financial decisions must be made regarding the long-term care of a loved one, it can cause a number of issues to arise among family members. While family conflict is not unusual, it can negatively affect the well-being of your loved one, especially if they are already a resident of a nursing home or other long-term care facility.

If the loved one is already in a care facility, a lack of communication between the family and the facility can leave the resident vulnerable to abuse or neglect. For example, residents with families in conflict regarding care may not be visited as often. This is critical as visits by friends and family members are the best way to ensure that residents are receiving the level of care they deserve. Family conflict can also result in a resident feeling isolated or a burden, which can be detrimental to mental and emotional health.  

Bringing the family and support network together to discuss a loved one's changing situation and available options is a huge step in making the decisions that ensure your loved one’s well-being.

Tips to help conflicted families make care decisions:

  1. Agree on what is best for parent/resident. While this may be difficult, a family meeting where everyone decides on their roles and responsibilities regarding care will provide the best result for all.  This may mean occasional in-home care, visits to the nursing home, financial responsibilities or any other need that must be met.
     
  2. Make sure the resident/parent is getting adequate care. Certain family members may disagree on the level of care that their parent(s) require. One less-involved sibling may feel that too much of their parent’s money is being spent on care, while another may feel there is not enough. While family members may have differing opinions on what is best for their loved one, they should all agree that providing the highest quality care is critical.
     
  3. Speak with the parent/resident about what they want. Unless a resident is cognitively impaired, he/she deserves a say in the type of care they receive. By including the loved one, the most informed and beneficial decisions can be made.

In recent years, elder and adult family mediation has been recognized as a successful means of dealing with family conflict. If you are having issues making long-term care decisions with your family, this is a common solution. However, if any family member suspects that a loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, they should speak with the facility administration immediately. If that is not enough, then consider contacting a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney like Hupy and Abraham.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat 24/7 at Hupy.com

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