Who Should Attend a Family Meeting About End of Life Issues?
Ø A professional mediator if you are a dysfunctional family.See below for the red flags of the dysfunctional family:
§ You actively compound already difficult decisions with intractable, interpersonal conflict
§ You create additional problems independent of the decision that brought you together in the first place
§ You pit themselves against one another
§ Family members assume they are right (and the others are wrong)
§ You assume the roles of adversaries in their individual quests to solve the problem
Ø A facilitator if you are a nearly normal family. See below for the red flags of the nearly normal family:
§ You Communicate well enough
§ You accept differences of opinion as inevitable and an opportunity for more effective decision-making
§ You lock arms to address the problems they encounter.
Ø The older parent, if they are mentally competent and can sit through the meeting. If he or she cannot attend, due to health probelms,let him or her know who has been invited and what you plan to discuss. If he or she cannot attend, report back to him or her right away about the meeting. This keeps the control with the patient where it belongs. It is after all their life being discussed. If the elderly parent can’t attend, then the person most familiar with the needs of dying person should attend
Ø The power of attorney for health care, (if there is one) who is the health care agent and who carries out the advanced directive parent’s wishes and makes health care decisions if they are incapacitated
Ø All adult siblings
Ø A representative from( a case manager or medical social worker) Hospice if Hospice is involved
Ø A geriatric care manager if one is involved