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Family Caregiver Tools: Planning a Family Meeting

By Erin Schmidt

Nobody can predict the future, but there are ways to be more prepared for whatever is in store.  Almost nothing is more crucial in times of family crisis than having the family support system ready to act. Often times in these situations, the responsibility is taken on by one family member, or the "matriarch." But this can be a lot for one person to take on, so the importance of asking for help is crucial.

CareTogether™ is a caregiver support Web site informed by and built for family caregivers that gives families the tools to not only ask for help, but also organize these efforts.  CareTogether™ allows families to create a free, private page with everything they need to manage the care of their loved one. Family caregivers can add other family members to their "care team" to help manage appointments, delegate tasks, post updates and more –all from one platform.

So what's the first step for mobilizing family members to help take action? Family meetings are a great tool—they can help family caregivers delegate tasks and rally support around a loved one in crisis.

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors (CSA) has outlined some guidelines for planning a family meeting:

  • Include all the core family members. Ideally, have everyone get together in-person. If (a) family member(s) cannot be present physically, have a conference call so that they are part of the conversation. If you will be discussing the fate of a loved one, it may be best not to have them present at the first meeting (to ensure other family members can discuss this very important topic openly without fear that they will hurt or scare the loved one).

  • Select a comfortable, neutral and private location for the meeting. Make sure you find a place in which everyone can feel at ease.  Also, anticipate that the meeting could get heated, so privacy is key.

  •  Establish the main purpose of the meeting and set a short agenda. This will help your family stay on-task and organized in addressing (the) major issue(s) rather than seek to solve every possible issue in just one meeting.

  •  Collect and share information. Surf the Web, check out the Resources within your CareTogether™ page—gather information to ensure everyone has the same working knowledge of your loved one's condition(s) and/or disease(s).

  • If you don't feel comfortable managing the meeting, bring in a mediator.  Consider enlisting or hiring someone more comfortable with the mediator role.

If you or someone you know need(s) help managing the care of a loved one, visit care-together.com to view a demo of this great new tool to see how it can help your family. Or, register for your own CareTogether™ page right away (it's FREE).
 



 

 




 



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