Healthcare issues for aging individuals can be complex, and a significant source of stress and conflict for family members. These types of conflicts can be further complicated by family relationship history, emotions and the variety of individuals who may be involved. These people may include the aging individual themselves, family members, care providers and other connected individuals who all have their own beliefs, thoughts, feelings and values that they bring forward.
Frequent Sources of Conflict
- Roles and responsibilities of providing care and support to the aging family member, and perceived differences among family members and others in providing that support
- How to address meeting the financial costs of care
- Decision-making related to care decisions – who is responsible and how are decisions made
Conflict Mitigation Strategies
- Keep the needs of the aging family member at the focus of discussions
- Where possible, have healthcare discussions in advance of them becoming sick and requiring care
- Have an open dialogue with individuals who are connected such as family members, care providers and other professionals
- Create plans in advance to the degree possible, and care directives that reflect wishes and needs.
- Keep lines of communication open
- Advance Care Planning Canada – for valuable information on planning future health and personal care preferences in advance of needing care