Jeff Anderson, writing in aplaceformom.com, lists ten reasons families members have tended to fight among themselves about senior care issues:

  1. Siblings view parents’ needs differently
  2. Parents resist care
  3. Family members regress to earlier roles and past issues resurface
  4. One child does all the “heavy lifting”
  5. One child in control excludes others from decision making
  6. Siblings disagree on how to pay for senior care
  7. Children must often balance caregiving with raising a family
  8. When both parents need care, the physical and financial strain is immense
  9. Siblings differ on the nature of end of life care
  10. Siblings disagree on inheritances

While family dynamics will continue to be complex and delicate, Indiana’s new CARE Act, a law that went into effect January 1 of this year, can help ease part of the stress by providing advice and help to the more than a million and a half Hoosiers who care for loved ones. The goal of the law is to improve coordination and communication between family caregivers, patients, and hospitals and rehabilitation facilities.

Since the plan of care itself is not left up to the Lay Caregiver, but developed by a nurse, social worker, or licensed healthcare professional, there is less room for disagreement about the best way to help senior at home with:

  • Daily activities
  • Wound care
  • Administering medication
  • Operating medical equipment

“Know that you are not alone,” says the Care For the Family Caregiver: A Place to Start website. “Although you may feel isolated, together, family caregivers are part of a larger community.” Family caregivers are responsible for the physical, emotional, and often financial support of another person who is unable to care for him/herself due to illness, injury, or disability, Caregiving.org explains.

Elder law involves planning for the complex health, long-term care, and other issues faced by elderly and disabled individuals and their families. Advance directives are written instruments that give others advance instructions or “directives” on how to manage your health care and finances should you become incapacitated.  

Proper estate planning includes the use of a power of attorney, an appointment of health care representative and a living will or life prolonging procedures declaration. Indiana’s CARE Act now becomes the newest tool to help parents and children avoid fighting and begin care-filled helping.

– by  Rebecca W. Geyer