Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Consensus – Sounds Easy to Achieve. But Is It?

By: Tom Callahan
       Only Seniors, LLC
       Crisis Manager and Consultant

“Why can’t we all just get along?” was the plea issued by Rodney King during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.  He made simplistic request to try to quell the violence all around him.  When it comes to making Elder Care decisions for loved ones, family members don’t always agree and then chaos ensues. 

At the heart of the matter, is an elderly person who needs help.  When multiple people have a say in the decision making process that means multiple opinions on the “right course of action.”  This can lead to some heated exchanges as the dynamic switches away from the elderly person’s needs to an individual trying to prove his/her point. 

Guess what – IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!  So stop trying to make it so.  Unless you are a health care or senior living professional, realize that you don’t know the best course of action based solely on your relationship with your elder loved one. 

Your job is to find solutions.  Finding solutions means asking questions.  Asking questions means consulting someone who has been through this process or someone who works in the elder care field.  Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak or have failed.  It means that you are big enough to admit you don’t have all the answers and could use a little guidance.  It means that you want to do the right thing and get your elder loved one the help that he/she needs and deserves.

Start the process by agreeing to the following:
  • Agree to work together
  • Agree to discuss different opinions without making it personal
  • Agree to ask questions and seek options
  • Agree to disagree but still continue on working toward a solution
Learn about different elder care options.  Smart aging never gets old.

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