If your parents are in their golden years, one of the most important things that you can do for them and your entire family is hold a family meeting. By getting everyone together, you can better discuss options for the future, including what should be done if one of your parents suffers from a disability or illness.
One of the most common reasons why there is conflict within the family when a parent dies or becomes ill is because some family members simply don’t have all of the facts and information. In some cases, one or two of the family members may feel overwhelmed and not sure if their siblings are willing and able to help. In other cases, some family members may feel left out, and perhaps even that their input isn’t wanted or needed.
A family meeting can help reduce problems within the family, plus it is a great way to get many things accomplished.
- You will want to have a family meeting before there is ever a medical crisis. If you have your meeting while both of your parents are still healthy, you can plan together for any possible catastrophe, plus you can encourage your parents to put an estate plan in place, if they haven’t already.
- If you do face a crisis, handle it as a family. Hold a meeting so that everyone has the facts: at this meeting it can be decided who will take care of certain tasks and responsibilities.
- Before you hold your family meeting, encourage everyone to write down a list of any issues they would like to discuss at the meeting.
- If at all possible, all family members should be at the meeting. In the event that this isn’t possible, considering using conference calling and a speakerphone.
- Write down any decisions that result from the meeting.
If you feel there may be disagreements, you may want to have someone act as a mediator. Options would be a family friend or your church’s pastor, etc. Simple family meetings can help to avoid a lot of misunderstandings, plus it will help to avoid any family member feeling overwhelmed and responsible for everything.