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In times of stress, even the best of
families have difficulty agreeing on what to do with Mom
and Dad. But not many of us come from the best of
families. Most of us come from normal families
with lots of history, past disagreements, and maybe even
feelings of resentment or bitterness. These issues
make reaching an agreement on a very difficult situation
almost impossible. Here are a few suggestions
which may help make this easier.
The most important suggestion is also
the most difficult. Good communication sounds easy
enough; you and your siblings can talk this over.
But are you really communicating? Truly helpful
communication will not take place without an accepting
environment. That means that everyone
participating in this conversation must be willing to
accept without judgment the statements made by others.
This is the hard part. When your brother says he
is too busy to help take care of Mom, it seems like a
normal reaction to be upset. It seems perfectly
reasonable to question his loyalty and commitment to
your mother. The accusations begin to fly, your
brother feels guilty and gets defensive. Communication
ends and arguments begin.
This situation is repeated all over the
nation in many families. What is your brother
really saying to you? Do you really think he
doesnít love your mother? Is he so obsessed with
making money that he is not willing to cut back at work?
Does he want to put Mom in a nursing home? Hasnít
he heard all of the things that could happen there?
She took care of us, why is he abandoning his family?
What has happened to your brother?
Your brother on the other hand is
thinking, Is my sister crazy? I donít have time
for anything now and she wants me to take care of Mom?
There are so many things going on in my life, there is
no way I can do this. We just started a new
project at work and my boss is expecting me to put in
overtime to get it done. I canít drop the ball; I
have been waiting for this chance for a long time.
There are perfectly good professionals who would be
better taking care of Mom. They are trained and
know what to do in these situations. I have no
idea what to do or where to even start.
There are two people here who both love
their mother. They both want to take good care of
her. These two people have been raised by the same
parents, in the same house, but canít agree on what to
do. These two people have each had very different
life experiences, and have two different opinions about
what is the right thing to do in this situation.
Your brother feels it would be wrong to try to take care
of Mom if you donít know what youíre doing. He has
not been to a bad nursing home; he has not heard some of
these horror stories. He does not feel he is
abandoning his mother; he feels like this really is
taking care of her in the best way.