Hi there, this part of our Plan Your Story Interview Series. I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Richardson last month. Nicole is a licensed marriage and family therapist from Austin, Texas.
One of the things Nicole addressed during our interview is dealing with difficult family members, all within the context of caregiving or planning to care for an aging loved one. Enjoy part 2 of our interview series tips below!
Tip 1 - Be Patient: These are always really sad, stressful, uncomfortable times so I think having someone come in a criticize the way that you are doing this is really going to be very hurtful in an already painful time, so being patient with yourself is really important.
Tip 2 - Get Wishes in Writing: Having something written down is important. To be able to share it with that person, "Hey, Aunt Karen, I know that you really love my mom and that’s why you’re here, and I really appreciate that. With that said, she and I a few years ago sat down and made this plan and here it is, and she was really clear with me, and it's not my favorite thing, I have some reservations about it, but this is what my mom wanted and I’m really clear on trying to do my best on doing what my mom told me she wanted. She committed to it in writing."
Tip 3 - Have Power of Attorney: Making sure there is a medical power of attorney is key. It's a bummer, but when people are hurting a lot of times it doesn't bring out the best in them. You are the Designee, so if you feel really strong and clear about what it was that your parent wanted, that’s the best you can do.
You can listen to the full interview here.
Nicole M. Richardson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist located in Austin, Texas
You can reach Nicole at Nicole Richardson Counseling at www.nicolemrichardson.com.