People who are related to you and to your aging family member can be a tremendous source of help as you navigate the waters of caregiving. But sometimes those conversations veer off the path and become less helpful than you hoped that they would be. If you follow some of these tips, you might be able to get more out of those conversations when you need to have them.
Other Family Members Understand Family Dynamics
Other family members know your family as well as you do, most likely, so you can shortcut a lot of background information that other people might need. This can also be a double-edged sword, though, because the family does know each other so well. Use the positive aspects of the relationships that you have and try to avoid gossip or running anyone else down.
Share What You Can
Remember that some of the information that you have access to as your senior’s caregiver may not be information that she’s comfortable sharing around with everyone in the family. Keep your senior’s privacy and dignity in mind as you seek the advice of others. If it’s questionable at all whether you should share, maybe don’t for now.
Avoid Getting Caught in a Negative Cycle
One of the reasons that talking to family members can be so helpful is that they might see things from a slightly different perspective than you do. That can be huge for you, but it can also be dangerous if you get carried away. It’s very easy to get caught up in “maybe” and “possibly” when you’re trying to get more information. Sometimes people tell you what they think you want to hear, not necessarily what’s actually happening.
Difficult Decisions Might Be Easier
Remember the reason for these conversations. You’re likely trying to make a difficult decision, such as whether your senior should keep driving or hand the keys over to home care providers to do the driving instead. You need the eyes and ears of other family members at times to help you to make those decisions, so explore those conversations.
Other family members might have vastly different ideas than you or you’re senior have about the best care for her. It’s important to use all the information and tools you have at your disposal. Trust that you’re going to make the right decisions for your aging family member and for you as her caregiver.