You might be a long-distance caregiver, but odds are your loved one has a primary caregiver, and if this person is a family member it can cause a bit of tension. Family can bring out the best and worst in all of us, but for the sake of your loved one, it is important that you uphold a united front centered around the most important goal – giving your loved one the care and attention they need. The following are just a few helpful tips and suggestions to avoid caregiving-related conflict with family members:
Talk It Out
When it comes to family conflict, it can be tempting to focus on points of disagreement. However, find a point of agreement to return to when things get tough, and use it as a reset button. For example, you can all agree that the primary goal is that your loved one receives the best care possible, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. It might be beneficial to hold weekly family meetings so that everyone has a chance to air their concerns and grievances, as well as arrive at a solution. Those who can’t be at the meeting in person can join in via video chat or by phone.
Often times you may feel as though you are left out of the loop, so collaboration is key so that everyone is aware of what is going on. Create an online spreadsheet to track appointments, finances, medication, etc., or ask the primary caregiver to send a weekly email message to all family members detailing the happenings of the week. Even something as simple as a group text is a quick way to disseminate information, especially short updates such as a good check-up or to send fun photos.
It seems like there is an app for just about everything these days, caregiving apps included. Not only do they enable you to maintain and update important information, but it makes sharing it with family members quick and painless. Lotsa Helping Hands is a great app for the long-distance caregiver and their family, as it’s interactive calendar enables all users to manage family meetings, errands, and appointments, and the message board provides a spot to leave a few quick words of encouragement and thanks. Caring Village is another good one, letting family members coordinate care, store important documents, and even create to-do lists.
With so many people involved in the care of your loved one, there are bound to be conflicts that arise. Find the solution that works best for your family whether it is meeting weekly or staying connected via an app. In the end, remind yourself of the common goal – the happiness of your loved one.