Families are the same anywhere you go. Your family are people you share laughter, love, pain, success, failure – all in sickness and in health. These are the people who will always surround you and support you; the people you yourself put first. But it’s not uncommon to encounter family and senior conflict. Frustration and hardship can momentarily bring out the worst in us, and conflict erupts. When it comes to our senior loved ones, new frustrations can emerge over a decline of health and increased dependence on younger family members. These family members providing the care can experience frustrations of their own by the added responsibility, and the difficulty of witnessing their loved ones age.
The first thing is to accept that these feelings are normal, and not to feel bad about your family unit as a whole just because a conflict is manifested. It happens to everyone. Once we accept that, we can also choose not to place blame on anyone – blame is not constructive.
The next step is to see the other person’s point of view. A senior may be struggling to cope with all of the changes, and the loss of their health which they may have enjoyed for a very long time. There may also be issues out of anyone’s control here – such as initial signs of dementia causing confusion, frustration, and personality changes. Even prescription medication can have an affect on mood swings, so be wary of out of the ordinary changes.
The most important step is reconciliation. We never know how much time we have left together, so don’t stay upset or shut someone out. Look for constructive ways to make amends so both parties feel understood and loved. And try to get there quickly!
For more tips on managing family and senior conflict, and for assistance with hands-on care at home for seniors, contact Serenity Home Care, the experts in senior care in Victoria, BC and the surrounding areas.