Did I hear right? “My brother threw a shoe at my mom.” “My sister cracked a dinner plate over my head.” “My brothers stopped giving me my inheritance.” “My mother hates me, favors my brother, even if I’m her primary caregiver.” “No one thanks me for what I do.”
These are true gripes from frustrated family members caring for their loved ones who are aging, ill or dying. Rather than relish these awesome “Golden Years” together, caregivers and elders experience an awful time, racked with screaming matches, tantrums, smear tactics and guilt. Some families waltz with each other, twirling around oncoming challenges in their path; while others fume and bicker in family feuds, dragging each other down with every encounter.
Best-selling author Atul Gawande writes, in his book, Being Mortal: “But once parents were living markedly longer lives, tension emerged. For young people, the traditional family system became less a source of security than a struggle for control — over property, finances and even the most basic decisions….”
It behooves caregivers to invest in professional coaching to resolve family fights, heal hurt and speak to each other in new ways. Proven formulas that improve family relationships can be learned and practiced. Your family can choose to forgive each other, increase harmony and work together to celebrate the transition of your loved ones.