August 21, 2017 by Dean Bellefeuille

family conflict

Perhaps your family rivals those on Walton’s Mountain in its unconditional love, unwavering patience with one another, and determination to stick together through thick and thin. But if your family is similar to most, there’s undoubtedly some level of dysfunction, some lingering stubborn sibling rivalry, and even a little lingering competitiveness to be Mom’s and Dad’s favorite. These sorts of family conflicts can be aggravated as parents’ caregiving needs increase and family members are forced to work together, resurfacing old childhood issues.

Clinical psychologist Craig Grether shares, “When there is a family crisis with a parent, the adult children, no matter how educated they are, no matter how successful, with a variety of life experiences, they regress to the same dynamic of whatever was going on when they were 7, 8, 10, 12 years old.”

The reality is, as many as 40% of family care providers have significant family conflicts, and 65% believe that care needs end up being unequally distributed between siblings. Conflict typically arises any time there’s a perception that one family member isn’t pulling his or her weight in terms of meeting the care needs of an elderly loved one – reigniting any earlier family dynamic problems that until this point might seem to have been buried. With family care providers in danger of such concerns as depressive disorders, alcohol or other substance abuse, sleep loss, and career challenges, it’s easy to understand how quickly emotions can surface among family members.

How can members of the family band together and develop a plan of care that’s fair to all? The bottom line: there are occasions when it’s just not attainable, and it’s necessary to come to a place of acceptance that your younger brother may not be capable, for whatever reason, to handle attending to Dad at the level you’d like. Letting go of preconceived expectations and also any feelings of resentment is critical to obtaining peace for yourself and to be able to focus on giving the best care for your elderly family member.

Regardless of your family’s dynamics, At Home Independent Living, a Syracuse elderly care agency, can be on hand to supply a steady, trustworthy resource to make sure that all care requirements are entirely satisfied at all times. We work together with families to help fill in the gaps in care, allowing them to concentrate on overcoming family conflicts, spending quality time with each other and alleviating the anxiety often associated with meeting a senior loved one’s everyday needs. Contact us at 315.579.HOME for more information.