Holding family caregiver meetings is important in discussing and understanding everyone's perspective and availability to help in the care of a family member with a disorder.
Though difficult, the caregiver meetings should focus on current caregiving needs, rather than dwell on past conflicts. If this is not possible, a trained professional may be hired to lead the family meetings to be sure that a successful caregiving routine is established, and anger and resentment are not deepened. Failure to find a neutral party to assist in developing a fair caregiving plan may result in divisive actions among family members. Some keys:
Talk early. Talking about the caregiving situation in honest and open terms will allow everyone to contribute to developing a plan to provide the best care for your loved one, and in a way that maintains the primary caregiver's physical and emotional health.
Listen carefully. A family meeting is an important opportunity for everyone to best hear and understand the current caregiving demands, to identify potential problems and solutions, and to work through defining and sharing caregiving tasks. The caregiver needs should be outlined by the group. In addition, family members who are out-of-town should be included via phone to insure that they understand the current caregiving situation (and that the caregiving needs may change while they are away). Listen to each other and determine the best fit for the caregiving tasks you have defined. Be sure to also listen to what the person being cared for has to say. Make sure that each person hears the feelings of all involved. Develop a written plan listing what each person will do and when he or she will do it.
Talk often. It will take more than one meeting to establish and maintain a good caregiving routine. Schedule a family meeting at least several times per year; this way, if a crisis arises, you are all more likely to all be on the same page. If the emotional toll of caregiving makes it difficult for you as the primary caregiver to hold a family meeting, contact your healthcare provider for the names of those who can help. A social worker, case manager, counselor, trained facilitator or mediator, or member of the clergy trained in family counseling can help bring the family together to insure that the primary caregiving burden does not fall too heavily on one family member, endangering their emotional and physical health.
Holding family caregiver meetings is important in discussing and
understanding everyone's perspective and availability to help in
the care of a family member with a disorder. Though difficult, the
caregiver meetings should focus on current... More