17 Feb How To Initiate Successful Caregiver Family Meetings
Finding quality care for loved ones can affect the entire family.
Caring for seniors requires a collective effort. As loved ones get older they begin to need care, and this care often leads to residential assisted living. Caregiver family meetings are very important to discuss all the details surrounding your loved one – these meetings eliminate confusion and conflict. Without participating in a meeting, family members are not directly involved in the decision making process for their loved one.
Some family members are not conscious of the time, energy, and financial impact of making accommodations for seniors. Having a successful meeting can make a positive impact. Although family meetings are necessary for easier and proper planning. Most meetings exhibit different points of view, high emotion, and a variety of communication characteristics.
What do your families need to do in order to conduct the most successful family meetings? This blog article is written specifically to outline five steps that will aid in conducting a productive family meeting.
FIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY CAREGIVER SENIORS
1. Gather All Members For Adequate Representation
It is important to have all the necessary people at the meeting. This includes immediate and extended family, close friends, and professionals who are key to making decisions and offering relevant insight. You may want to separate intimate details to discuss only when immediate family members are present. It is also normal to include social workers and/or religious leaders. A trained facilitator will assist in navigating the meeting. It may be necessary to discuss concerns while shielding your loved ones’ feelings.
2. Set An Agenda
Before conducting a family meeting regarding your loved one, it is necessary to have an agenda. An agenda guarantees time is not wasted. It allows all parties to prepare, so no one is surprised by uncomfortable subjects. Having an agenda also allows parties to prepare for suggestions and reduce uncomfortable discussions.
3. Navigating the Meeting
It is important to choose a location that is comfortable for all parties involved. Try to limit noise and distractions during the meeting to properly have an open discussion. Having video and wireless capability for members who cannot be physically present is a great option for participants. The facilitator will allow time for every member to share their thoughts and concerns. It is important to enforce everyone to use respectful language and not jump to careless conclusions. Remember family meetings often take more than one session to settle all issues.
4. Be Prepared for Challenges
Family meetings can sometimes be very difficult. As a result, they should not be taken lightly. Each member has their own perspective and experience that shapes their decisions. Allowing members to communicate freely without being judged is paramount. Stay focused on specific issues and tasks until each agenda outlined is fully completed. Constantly remind all participants of the ultimate goal to provide quality care for the senior family member.
5. Create a Win/Win for All
The main goal is to have all family members united on the same page regarding the care of their loved ones. Not all issues get fully solved during family meetings, but do not allow this to discourage you. A facilitator will never try to find a perfect solution, but rather an equitable compromise that everyone can agree with. During a health crisis, family’s must realize decisions may get tougher and may need to make them quicker.
Families who accept compromise generally find ways to work together more easily. Everyone must be willing to compromise. This is the best way to gain the ultimate success in caring for loved ones. Once all sides have come to an agreement, make sure the decisions are put in writing. This will keep things clear and organized. A calendar can also be a great tool to help family members keep track of their responsibilities and commitments.
NOT EVERYONE WILL PARTICIPATE
The facilitator will contact each family member individually to state the reason for calling the meeting. This will allow everyone to ask questions and decide whether they would like to attend. The facilitator will aim to eliminate stress and place emphasis on the importance of participation. In the end, still, not everyone may join the meeting. This is normal.
Some people may not be able to immediately cope with the health situation mentally. It is important to proceed without those who do not attend. Attempt to open lines of communication for all family members to access, share and exhibit a willingness to work together. This will aid in your family meeting being as successful as possible.
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What do your families need to do in order to conduct the most successful family meetings?