Dementia is never something that is easy for family members to deal with. When someone that you love is struggling with is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it can often seem like it is even tougher for family members to adjust than the person who actually is fighting against the disease. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case, and the end result is often that the person who does have dementia ends up receiving a lower quality of care than what they deserve because of these struggles.
This can be compounded by disagreements amongst family members when it comes to what the best course of action is for their loved one. There have been a lot of high profile cases where celebrities who have struggled with dementia have had their families torn apart because of disagreements between each other. This usually isn’t any sort of malicious action on the behalf of a couple people, but rather that individuals have different ideas regarding what is best for the people that they love. Celebrities like Casey Kasem, Glen Campbell, and Etta James all had dementia, and their families were involved in lawsuits regarding their care and estate.
You probably are not related to a high profile celebrity, but that doesn’t mean that you will necessarily escape the pitfalls of helping a loved one plan for their senior care. In fact, what we see on the news is often just a reflection of what is going on in society as a whole. If this is true, then you are far more likely than you might suspect to enter into a disagreement with other loved ones regarding the best way to care for an elderly family member.
The number one best way to avoid such a problematic situation is to plan with your family well ahead of time what the best course of action is when it comes to helping a loved one out. If you can discuss this with your older family member, that is even better. Even if there is no dementia yet present, talking with an older loved one about what their desires and goals are for senior care might give you a better sense of direction when it comes to providing for them many years down the road.
Creating a trail of legal documentation in order to protect these wishes can be even more powerful. Living wills and trusts can create a framework that must be followed when it comes to care and finances. Now, this isn’t something that everyone has the means to create, but if a need exists, this can really be a protective measure for your older loved ones.
Really, we all want the best for the older people in our lives. Even if we disagree with our family about what that best course of action might be, we all still have the same common goal. Educating ourselves and our family members about which types of care and which caregivers can be most effective for helping a loved one with dementia can be another way that we help alleviate potential disagreements in this arena.