The importance of family caregiving meeting
Caring for your parents is a big responsibility. We all know it is very important that siblings share in that responsibility as much as possible, but what exactly does that mean?
Family meetings are a pivotal tool in the “Caregiver Toolkit”. Like a business meeting, a family meeting is used to facilitate discussion, identify goals, formulate action steps, delegate tasks, create benchmarks and timelines, and of course…schedule another meeting!
Start by making a list of items that you all need to consider:
1. What roles will each family member play? There is much work to be done. Family members can track and monitor appointments, cook, be accountants, drivers, companions, shoppers, maintenance workers, housekeepers, gardeners, etc.
2. Who will be the family spokesperson? It is beneficial if one person serve as the point of contact with doctors, lawyers, and financial planners.
3. What needs to be addressed? Once you have completed an assessment of your parents’ needs, who will follow up on which items to assure they are completed?
4. Who will provide care, and when? If several people are providing care, make a schedule. If one person is providing most of the care, be sure to make a plan for how this person will get an opportunity to rest.
Parental care is ongoing. Your parents’ needs will change, and the support your family provides will keep need to change accordingly. Families are messy, and when the time comes to provide eldercare, even good families can become dysfunctional. Regular meetings will keep everyone informed, and on task.