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It's Difficult for Your Parents to Care for Themselves Now: 3 Steps for a Successful Family Planning Meeting

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Now that your parents are getting up there in age, it might be time to start considering the changes that may take place in your family. Age and health-related issues may make it difficult for your parents to continue caring for themselves. When that happens, you may need to step in and make important decisions regarding their care. If you're an only child, those decisions may fall completely on your shoulders. However, if you have siblings, decisions regarding your parents may become a group effort. It it's time to consider assisted living, family meetings may help you and your siblings reach decisions in a unified manner. Here are three important questions that should be answered when planning a family meeting.

Who Should Attend?

A family meeting will allow you and your siblings a safe environment to discuss the needs of your parents. It's important for all of the siblings to be in attendance. If any of the siblings are married, their spouses should also be in attendance. This is particularly important because care of your elderly parents will affect the spouses as well. If there are hard feelings among any of the siblings, it might be a good idea to invite a disinterested third party to participate in the meeting. This person won't be involved in the decision making but will be able to help facilitate a respectful exchange of ideas and concerns.

When Should the Meeting Occur?

Many people plan family meetings during the holidays when everyone will be gathered in one central location. However, that can be a stressful time to introduce topics that might create feelings of animosity. Instead, allow the holidays to remain a time to get together with family members without introducing uncomfortable topics. If you and your siblings all live a considerable distance from each other, you might want to consider scheduling a time when you can video conference with each other. This will allow you to relax in the comfort of your own homes will you discuss plans for your parents care.

What Should Be Discussed?

Family meetings should be a time when you discuss any concerns you may have about your parents. As people age, their medical needs can change quickly. If you or your siblings have noticed changes in your parents' ability to care for themselves, the family meeting would be a good time to discuss the transition to an assisted-living facility.

If your parents are reaching the age where they will soon require assisted living, now's the time to start making those plans. The information provided above will help you and your siblings facilitate a family meeting so that you are better prepared to care for the needs of your parents.