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Why Families Fight About Senior Living

When is the right time to move mom or dad into a senior living community? Families often disagree on the matter, as well as many other related questions. It’s common for there to be differing opinions between family members on what is the best living situation for their loved one.

Sometimes it’s siblings who disagree with each other. Other times, there can be friction between a spouse and their children on what is good for their partner. The bottom line is that all families are different and will react as such. After speaking to some of the families who live at our communities, we have come up with the three most common factors families fight about and suggestions for each scenario.

1. Differing Opinions On Loved One’s Needs

Each family member is going to see their loved one’s needs differently, and often this disagreement is coupled with resistance to senior living. However, discussions of senior living sometimes occur after an accident which inherently raises tension and stress.

Due to that stress, siblings often struggle to find an agreed upon plan of action even though their overall goal is typically the same – to make sure their parent is taken care of.

If families can’t agree on whether senior living is needed or what supportive services their loved one will need, it can help to consult informed professionals. These professionals include their loved one’s primary physician, a local geriatric care manager, elder mediators and sometimes elder law attorneys.

senior woman looking out the window

2. Equally Sharing Responsibilities

Typically, in every family, each person lives in a different area with different availability. This becomes important when siblings or family members are determining who will take on what responsibilities when their loved one transitions into their new home. Many families disagree on who should do what and whether or not the responsibilities are shared equally.

  • One way to successfully determine who owns which responsibility is to start by making a list.
  • Gear each task to the person with the associated skillset. If one sibling is good with numbers, they should partner with their loved one to get all financial documents and billing established.
  • If another sibling is in the medical field, they can work with their loved one’s primary physician to get all their medical records in order.

woman with a calculator

3. Costs Vs. Inheritance

Unfortunately, families tend to argue about money, and sadly sometimes inheritance comes into the conversation. This is not ideal, as it distracts from the main goal of advocating for their loved one’s health and happiness. Outdated legal documents typically fuel these disputes.

The best solution to battles over inheritance is to involve a family mediator. This person will be able to look at the situation without bias and determine the best plan for the family as a whole. When this fails to work, it’s best for family members to consult their own attorneys.

For any questions on supportive resources, please call StoryPoint to speak with a Community Expert at 1-855-40-STORY.

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