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Top Tips to Help Aging & Ailing Family Members- July 2013
July 18, 2013


Let's Talk it Over

I called it “the look”. When I was a child and acting out, my mom would give me “the look” and I knew I had better stop what I was doing or bear the consequences.

Unspoken communication happens quite often between family members. In certain cases like settling an unruly child, it may work well. When it comes to helping an aging or ailing family member open communication is better.

Dealing with complex problems means that a more formal approach to communicating can be helpful. It may feel awkward to organize and conduct a formal family meeting. It certainly isn’t the way we normally communicate.

Routine, structured meetings can:

Keep family members informed and eliminate surprises

Increase cooperation by communicating clearly defined needs

Ensure that challenging tasks are completed in a timely manner by establishing agreed upon deadlines

Eliminate misunderstandings before they have a chance to flower into permanent rifts

Here are five keys to holding a successful family meeting

Create an agenda to follow based on family member concerns and information that needs to be communicated

Set a mutually agreeable time and place for the meeting. A neutral location may be best. Use conference calling systems like freeconferencecall.com if family members are not local

Establish and share ground rules for the discussion if you have challenges with emotions running high

Take notes about what is discussed at the meeting and share with any family members who cannot participate. If there are any to do items generated from the meeting be sure to track who took the task on and the due date for reporting back to the family.

At the end of each meeting, be sure to schedule your next meeting.




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