Tips to Make the Most From Family Senior Care Meetings
“It takes a village” was never a more accurate statement than when taking care of an older family member. It’s important for that “village” to have effective, ongoing communication so that you can offer the best care and to make sure everyone taking part in that care is on the same page. It’s also critical for family caregivers to have the opportunity to express concerns and to come together to get to resolutions, to share various perspectives, and to continue to be proactive in preparing for the future.
Holding senior family care meetings that produce good outcomes includes thinking through the following:
- Who should always be included – and who should not? Unquestionably, those providing direct or indirect care for the senior loved one should attend, as well as any other people with a vested interest in the older adult’s health and wellbeing. Nonetheless, also take into account that while every meeting ought to include the integral members of the senior’s care team, there might be opportunities to include others as well, based on the meeting’s agenda. And if you fear that emotions may run high, it can also be exceedingly beneficial to enlist assistance from an impartial, trustworthy mediator.
- Should the older loved one take part in the meeting? There is no blanket answer to cover all situations, but be cautious about whether or not the discussion could cause a senior loved one to feel guilty or uncomfortable, or whether she or he could have invaluable insight to share. Oftentimes, members of the family are able to open up and share more honestly when meetings take place without the older adult present.
- What’s your agenda? Establish the actual challenges to be mentioned, getting feedback from attendees, and then distribute the agenda to everyone. Agree to follow the topics listed, and to postpone any other concerns (aside from emergencies) until the following meeting.
- Where will you meet? Technology provides an excellent venue for hosting meetings for family spread out by geographic location, but for in-person meetings, it’s important to select a location that is clear of distractions, which will be most comfortable for everybody. Often a neutral location, such as a library meeting room or local restaurant, is ideal.
- Have you specified boundaries? Think through rules that all can agree on in advance of the meeting, such as abstaining from judging others, listening with an open mind, and promising a tone of respect during the meeting. As the meeting progresses, take notes, and review the notes together at the conclusion of the conversation to make certain that everyone is in agreement on decisions and commitments made.
The knowledgeable care team at Hired Hands Homecare is available to attend and facilitate family meetings for our clients, and also to present answers to concerns raised. As the top provider of senior care in Novato and the surrounding areas, we’re here to walk with you every step of the way through your care journey. Contact us online or at (866) 940-4343 any time for assistance!