Conflict in the Family Caregiver Role

November 18, 2016

Caregiver in Putnam NY

You’ve added a new role to your existing medley consisting of parent, spouse, career persona and friend. You are now your parent’s primary family caregiver. Being aware of the conflicts you may face will help you traverse the potential pitfalls with relative ease. Facing each day with the awareness that happiness is a choice will quickly distill any rising disagreement. Realizing that each day is a remarkable opportunity to connect with your loved one will provide grace and healing in their declining years and will make this role one of your most rewarding.


Conflicts with Siblings

This is one of the most common conflicts within the family caregiving dynamics. Old issues from childhood may arise. Following the path of those that have gone before will limit the need for bushwhacking. Consider applying these tried and tested maneuvers for managing this type of conflict.

Weekly Meetings. These will give each of you space and time to air grievances and then get on with the issues at hand. Set up a schedule of tasks that need to be accomplished and who is responsible for them. Use a video chat platform to include siblings that may live far away. Remember to include your parent in the dialogue.

Hire a Senior Care Provider. These professionals are trained in the art of caring for the elderly. Let them pick up some of the slack by filling in any holes in the schedule. Make sure that you have penciled in time for yourself as well. If not, consider letting a senior care provider take the reins a few days a week so that you have time to refresh and lead a balanced life.


Conflicts with Parents

Areas where the family caregiver and the parent sometimes clash include disputes on food intake, bathing times and resisting the help of an in-home senior care provider. The instigating factors are diverse and many, the resolution–obtainable. Following these suggestions will help diffuse and enlighten the situation.

Choose your Battles. Ok, they may not have eaten their seven servings of fruits and vegetables, but they had a tremendous smile on their face as they enjoyed parmesan popcorn while you two watched one of your favorite movies together. That is a battle hardly worth suiting up for. In light of the fact that you need some time to spend doing things you love, employing a senior care provider may be a topic in need of pursuing. Including your parent in the interviewing process can help limit their fear of dependency, a primary cause of discontent.


Conflict is not to be feared, nor is it to be lauded. It is a natural outcome of shared space and distinct thought. Conflict resolution is best described by The Serenity Prayer: “…grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”


If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Putnam, NY, contact Star One Home Care and Medical Staffing at 718-733-2222 or 914-362-0899.  Call today!


Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Director of Client Services at Star One Home Care
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA is Director of Client Services & Director of Phoenix Nurse Aide Training Center. Before assuming the post in 2012, Patricia was the Director or Nursing & Service Delivery at WRC for 3 years where she was the strategic lead for nursing and services to members.

Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

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