Here are six tips for dealing with difficult family members when you are the chief caregiver of a shared loved one.
The Holidays are a natural time to visit with extended family and friends. At the same time, the holidays can be challenging for caregivers. Difficult or insensitive family members are especially hard to deal with when you’re already juggling caregiving, work, grief over past losses, and holiday prep.
Find out how to reduce stress and anxiety by minimizing surprises, preparing responses to criticism, and planning for difficult conversations.
1) Caregiving Holiday Tips: 3 Useful Tips for Dealing With Difficult Family
Are you struggling with family members who don’t invite you or your older adult to their holiday gatherings? Or perhaps they extend an invitation, but don’t consider your older adult’s needs and realistic capabilities. And maybe they get offended when you explain that your older adult can no longer participate in certain family traditions.
Worst of all: they might blame YOU for being difficult or overprotective.
2) Prepare Family Before Holiday Visits with Seniors
Many families only get together a couple of times a year for big celebrations. You see your older adult all the time, so the way they appear and behave is normal to you. But for others, it can be a shock – especially if they’ve declined since the last get-together. Being surprised could make family members irrationally angry, ignore your older adult, or insist on making unwise changes to their life. Find out how preparing family before their visit helps you and your older adult and get a sample email letter you can customize.
3) Effective Ways to Respond to Caregiver Criticism
Getting criticized is unpleasant, especially from family or friends who don’t lift a finger to help care for your older adult.
If you get a hurtful comment, first take a deep breath and try to stay as calm as possible.
Then, try one of these suggested responses to change the tone of the conversation and reduce future criticism. Read More
4) Ways to Deal With Family in Denial About Seniors Needing Help
You might be frustrated by relatives who are in denial about your older adult’s declining health and increasing care needs. Whether it’s about Alzheimer’s disease, fall risk, or post-stroke recovery, or another health condition, their denial can make you feel angry, stressed out, and frustrated. For some people, denial is a subconscious way to ignore the fact that their parent is declining. For others, it’s a way to avoid taking on caregiving responsibilities.
5) Tips to Get Siblings to Help Care For Aging Parents
When you’re taking care of your parents, the last thing you need is more stress or resentment because of issues with your siblings.
But getting siblings to help can bring up old family arguments, cause sibling rivalries to flare up, and generally add to your burden.
6) Overcome 3 Excuses From Relatives Who Avoid Caregiving
Caring for an older adult by yourself is exhausting and can negatively impact your health. But getting family to help is often a challenge.
Getting a better understanding of why family members aren’t doing their part helps you find ways to get them to participate in caregiving.
We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
For more resources, subscribe to our free newsletter!