Whether you and your adult siblings employ formal paid caregivers or one or more adult siblings are doing the care themselves, a family meeting about caregiving issues in vital part of caring for an aging parent.
Why should you and your adult siblings organize and run a caregiver family meeting? Caregiver burnout is one of the main reasons aging parents are placed in a nursing home unnecessarily. A family caregiver’s, who can one of your siblings or even your aging mother, risks serious injury, depression and even death in caregiving for older adults. Caregiver stress and burden and how to deal with that caregiver overwhelm, is an essential reason for a caregiver family meeting.
A second main reason to have a caregiver family meeting is to fairly divide up the care among the adult siblings and family. Having one sibling caregiver or one aging spouses assume most of the care creates caregiver burden, risking physical and mental breakdown of the caregiver.
So adult siblings should hold a caregiver family meeting preferably ahead of a crisis, or in that crisis to save the main family caregiver, usually a sibling or spouse, from about throwing up her hands and quitting.
What can you do in a caregiver family meeting? You can put together a critical action plan or list to solve caregiver problems for the immediate safety of the caregiver and the care receiver. (elder who is receiving care)
I would highly recommend hiring a geriatric care manager to do a caregiver assessment before the meeting. The geriatric care manager can objectively and professionally assess both the caregiver and care receiver and give the family important feedback. The GCM can advise you as an adult sibling family, on both the issues to cover in the family meeting and how to set up and run the caregiver family meeting. The geriatric care manager can help key members organize the meeting.
If you are a” nearly normal family,” and all siblings locks arms in a crisis, the GCM can act as a facilitator, because facilitation is a meeting management skill. If you are a dysfunctional family and instead of locking arms the siblings blame each other in a crisis the GCM will probably suggest a mediator.
A professional mediator will organize and manage a sibling family meeting on caregiving that can successfully reconcile alienated siblings with each other and bring them back into the sibling group.
The mediator can then organize the adult siblings and larger family to solve the caregiver issues, before the caregiving of an aging parents breaks down and the disaster could have been avoided with the caregiver family meeting, with the help and professional guidance of a geriatric care manager.