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Tips for Successful Family Meetings

Family Meetings are an essential time for the family to come together and discuss anything of concern as a group. For the well-being of older adults, family meetings are even more critical, and they provide the family with time to discuss details concerning the care of an aging loved one.

However, family meetings benefit from proper preparation and organization to ensure a successful meeting that discusses everything in a timely manner. To have a successful meeting, there are some key things to keep in mind to ensure that the family meeting accomplishes everything on the list.

Who to Invite to a Family Meeting

When planning a family meeting, you will want to invite everyone that is (or will be) part of the caregiving team. In some families, this may be a shortlist, while in others, this can include a wider group of individuals.

Despite the standard name of “family meeting,” inviting everyone who plays a role in caregiving may also mean inviting those who are not part of the family. This can include friends, neighbors, and hired caregivers who also play a role in caring for your loved one.

For those who would benefit from the meeting but cannot attend physically, setting up a video conference can help include everyone. Recording the meeting or taking detailed notes is another option that can be shared with those who could not come so that they are aware of the decisions made.

How to Plan for the Meeting

To ensure that everyone’s time is maximized, it is a good idea to prepare an agenda before the meeting and send it to all participants. This lets everyone see the main talking points ahead of time and allows them time to add additional points if needed.

The agenda can include many different topics, including:

  • recent medical reports and updates on health conditions

  • feelings regarding illness and caregiving

  • the delegation of daily caregiving needs and what these needs entail

  • financial concerns

Essentially, the meeting can include anything regarding the care, well-being, and management of the loved one.

Where to Hold the Family Meeting

Where you choose to gather for the family meeting is also important. Be sure to meet somewhere where everyone can be heard and where there are no concerns about others overhearing personal business.

Scheduling Follow-Up Meetings

It’s a good idea to use the family meeting time, when everyone is all together, to schedule the next meeting. It may be hard to cover everything that needs to be discussed in a single meeting, so it is best to schedule other meetings as needed until everything has been adequately discussed.

Hire a Care Manager

It’s natural for difficult subjects to pop up during a family meeting. For this reason, hiring an outside facilitator, such as a care manager, can help the family discuss these subjects in a respectful way. Care managers are well-trained and experienced in conducting family meetings, and they can provide valuable information about your loved one’s care and health while also ensuring that the family meeting is successful.

If you are interested in how a care manager from Long Life Care Management can benefit your family, call us at (404) 310-3567 or book a free consultation.

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