Coping with the challenges of a family member with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been named as one of the most common stressors leading to family conflict. Dealing with AD in the family has emotional stressors as well as physical logistical challenges. When it comes to decision making, many family members struggle to decide who will bear the many responsibilities of caregiving.
Here are some helpful tips to assist family members come together in supporting a loved one with AD;
•Schedule a regular time and day for each family member to get together to communicate even if it’s simply to pass on information.
•If long distance relatives cannot attend regular meetings, plan a conference call or SKYPE meeting.
•Try to remain as flexible as possible. Consider everyone’s suggestions before making decisions.
•Make sure each family member has a job For example, if brother Bill isn’t able to cope with hands on direct care, let him take on something else like handling the finances.
•Keep in mind that stress affects everyone differently. Try not to judge each other.
•Give lots of praise and encouragement to each other-even for taking on small tasks, everyone matters and every little bit of help makes a difference.
•Before big decisions are made, be sure to schedule a family meeting to discuss the pros and cons and get a general consensus of how each family member feel.
•Refrain from making unilateral decisions whenever possible.
•Maintain a running list of jobs being done and help needed and go over the list at each family meeting. Be open to accepting help from people outside the family if extra help is needed.
•If conflict becomes severe, consider hiring a Mediator to help resolve issues.
•Keep in mind that your loved one with AD is in the best hands when family members work together toward the common goal of providing the best care possible.
•Swallow your pride if you have to, would you rather be right or support your loved one, sometimes it’s just not worth it to hang on to past disagreements.
Learn more about caregiving for those with AD by CLICKING HERE to join our 25 lesson course at AlzU.org today.