Family conflict is one of those things that can happen in even the friendliest of families. As your senior’s caregiver, you can’t make everyone happy and they’re probably going to tell you all about it.
Be Open with Information
As a caregiver, you have to respect your senior’s privacy to a certain extent. But within those limitations, there is information you may be able to provide to family members. Being as open with them as you can be may help to reduce conflict that they create because they don’t understand what’s going on with your senior’s care.
Get Really Clear about What You Need
You might think that people who want to be this involved in your senior’s care would look for ways to contribute, but that’s often not the case. Sometimes they just don’t know what your senior actually needs, so they don’t offer help. What helps a lot is for you to be crystal clear about what you need from other people so that you can educate them.
Take a Time Out
How important is it for you to feel as if you’ve won? You might need to simply step back and take a time out from the conflict. Staying embroiled in these types of arguments can sap your energy and keep you from doing what you need to do as a caregiver. The conversation will still be there when you’re ready to dive back in, but you don’t have to stick with it if it’s contentious right now.
Vent Safely and Appropriately
Venting is really important, especially when you’re on the receiving end of negativity. But there are some ways to vent that may not be so safe for you. For instance, calling up another family member and repeating the conversation might make the situation worse. Take the watered-down situation to a support group meeting or to a friend who can help you to express your feelings.
Don’t Take the Bait
Above all, you need to be able to avoid taking the bait when family members are poking at you. If you rise to the bait every time someone tosses something inflammatory out there, you’re going to stay in conflict whether that’s what you want or not.
If your family members are giving you a hard time more often than not, it’s even more crucial for you to take care of yourself. Hire elder care providers to offer you respite. Make sure that you’re doing what you need to do in order to keep yourself ready to go as a caregiver.