It is very important for the person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to have the full support of their family members. For family members, there can be many conflicts caused by decisions about treatment, living arrangements, and finances. Additional family dynamics prior to the diagnosis could affect how individuals react and see their roles in providing care and support.
Here are some strategies to consider in order to maintain an efficient, cooperative family relationship that will not only benefit the members, but also the Alzheimer’s patient.
Holding scheduled family meetings are crucial. Addressing few concerns at a time can reduce the chances of conflicts and burnout from one long meeting. The meetings don’t even have to be in-person, it could be over the phone. Having a planned meeting to discuss decisions and clearly outlining the shared responsibilities can reduce the overall stress over the care and support for the family member with Alzheimer’s.
Make sure to end the meetings with clear conclusions and division of roles/responsibilities. It can be very helpful to write down a log of the meetings to ensure that everyone can remember. Although it may seem formal among family members to schedule and plan a meeting and write a summary, these steps are a necessity in providing a healthy environment for the diagnosed and for all members of the family.
Being Honest and Open-Minded
Another crucial method of reducing family conflicts is to be very open about your feelings. Once you begin to bottle up differing opinions and emotions, conflict becomes inevitable. Even negative emotions are important to share, such as being angry or stressed. However, when expressing concerns never blame another family member or say “you don’t understand”. It’s vital that you open up about your feelings and are open to listen to other people’s opinions and feelings too.
Be sure to keep in mind that there is no right way to care and support. Respect everyone’s opinions and thoughts and be willing to acknowledge a better solution.
Resolving conflicts and trying to reduce them can help you focus on much more important matters- such as spending time with your loved one united as one family.