A Family Meeting
Arranging a family meeting can be a great opportunity to have a discussion about the care your loved one should be receiving, (or wants to receive). It may seem obvious, but remember that he/she is the one who will be making the necessary choices about how to live their life, not you or another family member, (unless, of course, there is a very serious health concern and your loved one is being quite unreasonable and is disregarding this health concern). Your loved one should always be at the centre of every discussion. If you do not involve your loved one, it may be more difficult to find solutions that are acceptable. You may find that your loved one (and possibly other family members) show signs of resisting a family meeting. If so, and it becomes very clear they would like to put off discussing the issues involved for a while, don’t push them into having a meeting.
Realize that they may need some time to prepare for such a discussion. Approach them a week or two later and make the suggestion again if they continue to resist, be a bit more assertive, make sure that they understand that you (and your family) want this meeting because you care about them and are concerned about their well being.
A family meeting demonstrates care and concern on the part of the family, and this how of concern alone may be enough to convince your loved one that they should consider some form of home care before their health deteriorates further.
Some suggested ways of dealing with resistance are:
- If your loved one’s health and/or safety are at issue, say so, and push the discussion forward.
- Involve others, such as, physicians, a social worker, or a case manager.
- Use community resources to help everyone ease into the ‘care at home’ process. Meals on Wheels or a no- obligation consultation with our agency, are some examples.
Make sure you have focused on what your loved one feels are their issues, not just what others in the family think are the concerns. Your loved one will be much more accepting of your point of view and wishes if they can relate them to their own situation.
It is often wise for family members to discuss the issues among themselves before having a family meeting with their loved one. This will give family members an opportunity to organize their thoughts and for the family to develop a strategy. A united front will help to show your loved one that all of you are concerned about the same issues. The statement “strength in numbers” certainly does apply here.
Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care