Are you an aging professional or geriatric care manager? Here are five more symptoms and family interactions you might see in an aging dysfunctional family if you do an intake over the holiday season.
6. Triangulation – Tension between two family members causes one to enlist a third family member to avoid change. For example, two adult children object to the cost of care of an aging parent. They gang up on the third adult sibling who thinks the cost of care is reasonable and justified.
“ Darla I just saw Mom’s house when I flew in for the holidays and this is a deathtrap- she need to move to a nursing home”
“ Stop calling like you’re an expert- you never visit and now you miss know it all- she can stay at home and wants to. We need to use the money she has to fix the house- you keep saying you want it – like the selfish person you always were “ “ Dave an I agree and as two siblings we out vote you”
7.Sense of Entitlement –Wealthy siblings, who are accustomed to purchasing services they need to solve problems instead of personally solving the problems themselves. They hire nannies for children, like Mary Poppins, even though they are not working parents. The nanny deals with the day-to-day problems of childhood. This lack of engagement leaves them, unprepared and unwilling in getting involved in solving midlife sibling or aging family tribulations.
“ I do not have time for this call. My flight to Wisconsin and the Aspira spa is tonight and I will be there two weeks”
“ But Carla has been with him for years as his companion. He loves her”
“Just fire her, hire caregivers and when I come back, we will just fire them too if they are not what we need. “
8.Narcissism – One or more siblings has an “it’s all about me” attitude and other siblings resent this. The self-absorbed sibling either does not participate in solving sibling or family troubles or makes them worse.
“ Have you time to make a really “ critical “ family meeting about Dad.”
“My dear partner Tom and I going to Palm Springs and our time together is a bunch more imporant than what happens to Dad. You settle and I will check in a while.”
9. Needy Adult Children – These adults feel starved for affection and often seek affection from professionals and other people in their lives to compensate for the care they didn’t receive as children.
Ellen you cannot take care of Dad. You have a cane yourself and he needd stand –by assistance”
I can too. He will love me being there 24 hours for him”
He sure didn’t love you as a kid – all those beatings and being grounded for week”
“He will finally love me now”
10. Substance and Other Abuse – The family has a history of drug, alcohol and/or child abuse.
“ Stevie, Dad’s out cold in the chair and Mom’s too drunk to cook so I am leaving and never coming back for another holiday stupid dinner”
“ But he might fall off the bed and he’s 70”
“I am going out to have a calming drink by myself”