September 9, 2019
There will be times as a caregiver that you and your senior don’t agree at all about a decision you’ve made or a situation you’re trying to resolve. If you push through and enforce one set of actions without hearing her out, that might create bigger problems for both of you.
Keep it Everything Factual
Emotion tends to run high when you and you’re senior disagree. There might be changes she needs to make or health issues that need to be addressed. You’re going to have an easier time discussing what’s happening if you can stick to the facts. Your emotions and hers matter, but they can keep the tension high when what you’re trying to do is to come to an agreement.
Give Both of You Time to Explain Your Side
Sometimes disagreements are more about neither party feeling as if they’re being heard. If you’re feeling that way, chances are that your senior is feeling that way, too. Take a few minutes and let your senior express how she’s feeling and what she thinks about the situation. Don’t comment, just listen. When it’s your turn to talk, share how you’re feeling. As a result, you might find that your perspectives are closer than you originally thought.
Look for the Middle Ground
There’s almost always some middle ground that can be found. The key is whether either of you is willing to take a step toward that middle ground. If driving is the problem, your senior might agree to avoid driving when the weather is bad or when it’s too dark for her to see well. During those times, she’ll agree to let elder care providers drive for her. You have to be willing to make that compromise, too, so if you’re not, you’ll need to keep negotiating.
Take Some Time
These types of conversations can wear you out quickly. That’s especially true if they’re happening more often about a variety of issues. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break for a little while. In fact, you need to be doing that as a caregiver on a regular basis. It helps to keep you centered and refreshed and it gives you and your senior a break from each other.
When you’re disagreeing with your senior, that’s a sign that you might need to slow down and listen to what she’s saying. You may be completely right, but it’s still good practice to hear her side.