Once a power of attorney is granted, the facility caring for your loved is no longer responsible for the care, but the family is? The catch, however, is that the person with a power of attorney (the agent of the patient) is the only one capable of making the tough calls and end of life decisions. Unfortunately, this brings about bad blood between loved ones, most of which fail to be addressed for the rest of their lives.
With family feuds soon ensuing from the lack of control, the individual(s) not handed the power of attorney form, will feel a sense of insult or rejection and they might even feel that they’re regarded as untrustworthy.
Since you don’t want to bring such feelings of hate upon your family, here are some of the things you could do to avoid family issues:
Encourage team spirit where sibling rivalry is imminent
If you have multiple children, even two, you should expect a level of sibling rivalry. However, this should change as the siblings become their parents’ caregivers. For this shift, it’s important for siblings to recognize that each of them will have a unique relationship with their parents. Understanding that they have different strengths when it comes to caring for their parent and that they are loved regardless of what they do or fail to do is important in encouraging team spirit.
It’s also important for fighting siblings to understand early on that caring for their aging parent is a team, and since the care will be a 24/7 job, the siblings have to work together.
Finally, siblings should understand that the person named as the one holding the power of attorney isn’t the only one expected to care for the parent or the only one involved in the care of the aging parent.
Hold routine family meetings and keep a journal
One of the best ways of preventing family feuds and misunderstandings is through regular family meetings. If you’re having a hard time getting everyone to attend meetings, you could schedule meetings to coincide with doctor visits or after a doctor’s visit.
Arguments are bound to happen, to avoid confusion, consider creating printed agendas for your meetings. Printed agendas will keep all meetings focused.
You could start by sharing the results, and the recommendations from the visit to the doctor then explain things like the suggested physical therapy exercises, menus, social activities, as well as transportation.
A journal with a list of all these (and other) activities is important.
Focus on inclusion in your care giving plan
While meeting regularly helps in bringing everyone together, you cannot end any rivalry between siblings by assigning more roles to one person than the other. Make it possible for everyone to feel included by creating a care giving plan that makes everyone involved in something critical.