Caregiving: Family Meetings Are Key
The National Council on Aging says such meetings are better conducted away from a stressful setting and held along clearly defined lines.
Solid indicators such as deteriorating health, current living conditions and the financial situation should make it clear to members that a meeting needs to take place and that important documents should be gathered before the session begins. It's vital, aging experts say, that the person who will be receiving the care be able to discuss their ideas and wishes.
Make sure as many family members as possible are involved -- this means using the telephone or computer as a conferencing tool for those who can't attend. Successful family meetings allow members to express both positive and negative feelings.
But in the end specific actions should be agreed upon and each member needs to know and accept their role in the tasks ahead, aging experts suggest.