“It takes a village” was never a truer statement than when being a caregiver for an older loved one, and it’s necessary for that “village” to keep effective, ongoing communication so that you can ensure that everyone involved with care is on the same page. It is also essential for family caregivers to have the possibility to express concerns and to work together to get to resolutions, to express different perspectives, and to remain proactive in planning for the future.
Holding family meetings that produce positive results includes thinking through the following:
- Who should be included – and who should not? Unquestionably, those providing direct or indirect care for the senior should attend, as well as any others with a vested concern for the older adult’s health and wellbeing. Nonetheless, also remember that while every meeting ought to include the critical members of the senior’s care team, there could possibly be chances to include others as well, based on the meeting’s agenda. And in case you fear that emotions may run high, it can be exceedingly beneficial to enlist the help of an unbiased, trusted mediator.
- Must the older loved one attend? There is no blanket answer to cover all circumstances, but be cautious about whether the discussion might cause the senior to feel guilty or uncomfortable, or whether he or she may have invaluable insight to share with you. Oftentimes, family members have the ability to open up and share more truthfully when meetings take place without the older adult present.
- What’s your agenda? Determine the actual concerns to be discussed, getting input from attendees, and then share the agenda with everyone. Pledge to adhere to the items listed, and to shelve any other subjects (apart from emergencies) until the subsequent meeting.
- Where will you meet? Technology provides a great venue for hosting meetings for family spread out by geographic location, but for in-person meetings, it’s critical to pick a location which will be free of distractions, which will be most comfortable for everybody. Often a neutral location, like a library meeting room or local restaurant, is ideal.
- Have you specified boundaries? Consider rules that everyone can agree on prior to a meeting, for instance refraining from judging others, listening with an open mind, and ensuring a tone of respect during the meeting. As the meeting progresses, make notes, and go over the notes together at the conclusion of the conversation to ensure that everybody is in agreement on choices and commitments made.
The knowledgeable team at Atlanta Home Care Partners is available to provide more tips for caregiver meetings, and to help families with elderly care in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. We can join and facilitate family meetings for our clients, and provide answers to concerns raised. Reach out to us at (404) 228-0103 any time for assistance!