High Ridge

When Families Disagree on Care for Aging Relatives

As they age, loved ones may begin to need more care. This may mean coming up with a care plan that will address the needs of your mom, dad or other family member. What happens, though, when aging parents, adult children or other relatives disagree about senior care? This is where it can get a little tricky.

First, it’s important to note that there’s often no perfect option for families, and often, some compromise has to occur. One thing is for certain, however, and that’s that everyone needs to be on the same page – or at least close!

Beginning the Discussion on Caring for Aging Relatives

Since senior care is such a delicate topic for many families, how can you set the scene for a successful discussion? It can help to set up a family meeting. Keep in mind that you may have to host multiple family meetings in order to accomplish your goals, but this is often a good start.

Prior to the meeting, come up with topics that you’d like to talk about. As you create your agenda, consider these points:

  • Is your loved one beginning to need more support?
  • Are you unable to provide the high level of care they need?
  • Are they becoming isolated and lonely?
  • Is their changing health putting you under lots of stress and pressure?
  • Have they brought up that they might like to receive care at a senior living community?
  • Do they have wishes already established?

What To Do When You Disagree on Care for Aging Relatives

At these meetings, some may agree on a care plan for their loved one. Others may need more time to consider the options, or they may disagree altogether. Though it can be disheartening, there are ways that you can manage this to come to an agreement while helping them see where you’re coming from.

Listen to everyone’s emotions and opinions.

These discussions are usually extremely emotional for families and can come with many different reactions. It’s important to hear everyone’s point of view. You may hear concerns such as:

  • These discussions are usually extremely emotional for families and can come with many different reactions. It’s important to hear everyone’s point of view. You may hear concerns such as:Fears about how much time caregiving will take
  • Whether or not they’ll have support at home to care for their own family
  • Fear they may lose their job or get behind on their career path if caring for a loved one
  • Concerns about the costs of senior care

Try to be understanding in all of these circumstances, and share your own thoughts and fears, too. This can help you all map out what will be possible and what won’t be.

Get informed about caregiving.

If your family believes that a family caregiver is the best option for your loved one, it’s a good idea to ask:

  • Who would that primary caregiver be?
  • Would their caregiver be their power of attorney?
  • Is there a relative who lives close by who would be interested in caregiving?

While many try to become a caregiver for their loved one, it often comes with caregiver stress, burnout and, many times, a move to senior living further down the road.

Some family members may feel like senior living, senior care, and nursing homes are synonymous, which can often be what leads them to consider other options. At leading communities like Waterstone on High Ridge, this isn’t the case. There is a strong emphasis on wellness and a focus on creating a dynamic lifestyle full of enriching opportunities and support.

Share some information with your family if they are open to hearing it. If not, listen to their thoughts, keep an open mind, and try to see things from their point of view. Again, you may have to have this discussion a couple of times before they begin to accept that a move may be best, or you may need some additional support from the outside.

Talk to the doctor or get a health assessment for your loved one.

If your family insists on a family caregiver and doesn’t want to consider senior living, a discussion with a health professional can help. Or if the family member in disagreement lives far away, they may not fully understand just how much support is needed.

This is when it can help to get a professional’s point of view. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about their health issues and long-term care needs. They will be able to:

  • Direct you on how to provide your loved one with the best support
  • Give your family an accurate view of what you may be dealing with
  • Support you in furthering your care plan discussion
  • Provide a range of resources

It can also help to contact a geriatric care manager, as they can help you navigate these issues to ensure your loved one is receiving the right care for them.

Research care options together.

If you come to an agreement and find that caring for your loved one at home would be too difficult, it’s a good idea to research your options together. Many senior living communities, like Waterstone on High Ridge, provide services to ensure your loved one is cared for during every step of their journey.

Offering independent living, assisted living and memory care, Waterstone on High Ridge offers all levels of support in one place – which means your loved one only has to move once. Most times, this brings families peace of mind and is what ultimately causes families to agree on a move, especially after touring and experiencing the lifestyle.


Waterstone on High Ridge offers a modern approach to senior living in a beautiful hilltop setting. Come see how we redefine independent living, assisted living and memory care in Fairfield County, just minutes away from fine restaurants, retail stores and cultural venues in Stamford and Greenwich.