Families Working Together to Achieve Good Results!
Donna was attempting to help her declining Dad. She lived in the same town and had seen him slowly declining over the past few years. The last few months have been noticeable. Dad has been struggling with walking, has fallen a few times and Donna is afraid that he will fall again – and she is afraid that the next fall will be bad. When she is finished working, Dot tries to spend time together with Dad.
A few years ago, Dad (a widower) married a lady named Dot. Dot was a widow, who had lived alone since the death of her first husband. Dad and Dot seemed to enjoy their time together and their adult children were all glad that Dad and Dot had found new mates and were no longer lonely and alone. Everything was great until recent developments that have occurred during the last few months. The kids wanted to do what they thought was best. However, our best intentions often do not include working together.
Dot has started to decline cognitively and her kids are worried about her health and safety at home at home. They know that their new step-dad is attempting to provide care for their Mom, but they are worried as to whether it’s enough. They are concerned about their Mom’s safety. Since step dad has mobility issues, they are worried about his ability to help their Mom. With her cognitive health declining, her care needs are increasing by the day,
Dad’s kids are also worried. In addition to his mobility issues, Dad has some heart issues and Donna is worried that the additional stress that Dad is experiencing may exacerbate his heart condition. Donna is concerned that Dad is trying his best to provide for the care of his new wife and is putting his own health on the back burner.
Everyone Sees Everything Differently
The kids of both parents want to respect their parent’s privacy and want to help them remain at home if possible – but they also want to make sure that each of their parents are getting the care they need. As a result they are all calling and stopping by to check on Dad and Dot much more often.
This combined effect of kids from both sides of the marriage “checking in” more often has caused additional stress for Dad and Dot. They want to continue to remain at home and feel that the kids want to just put them in a Nursing Home. The end result is that Dad is becoming more secretive and is pushing back against the kids offers of help. Nothing seems to be working because they are not making decisions together.
The adult kids really do want to help – but to Dad and Dot, it seems like the kids are just wanting to lock them up! The kids are juggling parent’s safety and their sanity in this emotionally turbulent situation. What can they do without making matters worse?
Communication Goes a LONG Way when Working Together!
Fortunately the adult kids of both families have met. They are trying to take steps towards working together. They all recognize the issues and want to support their parent’s desire to remain at home.
This is not always the case – many times the kids don’t know each other, suspect each other’s motives and are fighting what they fear may happen.
In either case, communication goes a long way toward solving potential problems before they become real problems. The family is well served to open communication lines early by having a Mom (and Dad) Centered Family Meeting. This meeting may start with a series of phone or Zoom calls and lead to the families meeting together, with Mom and Dad if possible. The goal is to come up with the best possible going forward plan for Mom and Dad and all of the adult kids.
This is a goal that’s worthy of some considered effort. Getting (and keeping) everyone on the same page and working toward the same goal together can usually yield a better end result for everyone involved.
If you are the adult child in a second-marriage-of-parents situation, what are you and your family doing to keep the communication lines open?
We want to be friends!
Ok. That might come off a little fast, considering we barely know each other. However, we fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver.
In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community!
We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.
Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter
Being an Adult Kid with a declining parent can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community to plug into would help! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!
Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link – help.mom/cc – and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.
Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!
Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!