Alzheimer’s Disease: How to Deal With a Family Conflict Situation?
When someone you love is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the impact of the disease on the family can be devastating. It becomes very hard to accept the fact that someone you care about so much is suffering from a lifelong condition to which there is no cure. Alzheimer is often accompanied by dementia. People suffering from it need the help and relentless support of their family through all the remaining stages of their life.
An Alzheimer’s patients’ quality of life is already compromised because of their overbearing condition and their subsequent dependency on family members, which only increases as the disease progresses. Hence it becomes imperative that Alzheimer’s patients are well-supported by family and friend when they seek satisfaction and pleasure in life experiences. They must be treated with respect and dignity and their privacy must be honored and ensured.
The situation is even more complex for caregivers who need to keep a balance in meeting the needs of Alzheimer’s patient and their own. The patient’s family often experiences overwhelming emotions that could be full of frustration, fear, anger or sadness. Hence, conflicts within such families become very common, however they must be resolved patiently by staying steadfast and encouraging the spirit of togetherness.
Responsibility Must Be Shared
Responsibility is addressed through resources and the ability to handle the patient. Each family member shall assume some of the responsibility, keeping in mind their resources and preferences. In order to provide the best care, a decision must be reached on whether care needs to be provided inside the patient’s home or another family member’s home. Critical decisions, such as legal and financial matters of the patient must be resolved by seeking out professional advice.
Regular Family Meetings
It is better to involve everyone who cares for the patient by arranging regular meetings. Everyone who cares must be kept informed with the patient’s current situation and his progress. The information can be shared through social media updates or by simply circulating important updates through email.
Challenges faced by family members should be discussed in family meetings. Changes in responsibilities can be made at these meetings as well. A conflicting situation can also arise during such meetings. In that scenario it is better to take help of a mediator or a counselor, especially if the argument does not reach an amiable conclusion.
Stay Honest About Your Feelings
Conflicts are resolved when emotions are openly discussed, and constructive criticism must be made through positive words. It is very common to feel stressed under a lot of responsibility, so try to resolve your stress by sharing it with other family members who care about the same cause. These brain storming sessions could bring out workable solutions for both yourself and your family. However, to make it a productive event, ensure that you don’t play the blame game or point any fingers, as doing so will only add fuel to the fire. Stay calm and listen attentively to other member’s problems and concerns.
Every family member may have his own way of taking care of patient. Stay positive and try to put your concern forward in the most possible constructive manner. The resources and abilities of each caregiver are bound to be different, and this must be accounted for during every conflict resolution situation.
Caption: It is very common to feel stressed under a lot of responsibility, so try to resolve your stress by sharing it with other family members who care about the same cause.
Take Help Of Counselors
The level of stress that family members of Alzheimer’s patients experience can truly be overwhelming. If all the stress is tearing your family apart, then it is best for all of you to seek a professional’s help. Obviously, everyone in the family cares deeply for the loved one undergoing such a disease, and usually the ones who are the closest to the patient find it hardest to cope with stress during this time. There are support groups of caregivers available who can be joined by family members that are facing overwhelming stress. A professional could also be hired to provide family counseling sessions.
You must keep in mind that conflicts during such a situation, if kept unresolved, will only make the situation for your family more complex. You may be compromising your job of taking care of the Alzheimer’s patient in your home by putting a lot more time in resolving conflicts. Conflicts must be resolved in a constructive manner. It is important to resolve family conflicts in order to enjoy the maximum time with your loved ones.
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