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Tips for Avoiding the Family Feud

familyfeudHow do you avoid a family feud during caregiving, an experience that seems to bring out the worst in the family?

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) asked its members–professionals who work with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues–that very question (How do you avoid a family feud during caregiving?). The top five tips from the surveyed geriatric care managers include:

1.    Give each family member opportunity to voice their concerns, questions and ideas.

2.    Hold a family meeting (either in person, on Skype or by phone) to plan for emergencies or the future. Using an objective facilitator can be helpful.

3.    Identify areas of agreement (i.e. areas of common concerns, desire for a caree to age in place, safety) and disagreement (i.e., need for caregivers, who will be the caregivers, staying at home or moving to a care facility) among family members.

4.    Keep lines of communication open.

5.    Identify the roles each family member will play (i.e., driving, cooking, live-in, financial support, spokesperson, errands, housecleaning, gardening, outings, etc.).

What do you think? What tips would you add? Which tips worked for you and which didn’t? Please share in our comments section, below.

About Denise Brown

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I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues.

2 comments

  1. Avatar of Pegi

    My Caree lives in a dictatorship of one, Me! When I was on the Long Distance Caregiving with my mother; we did most of the items you recommended. All of which are excellent advice. The most important thing I can suggest if you’re long distanct is stay in constant contact. After the initial meetings and discussions; stay involved with following progress and communicating not only with the caregivers; but with the Caree. Call, text, whatever you need to do; ask what you can do to help. There are calls to be made, research to be done and various other things you can do. Even though you’re far away does not absolve you; partipation may be needed.

  2. All of these are excellent guidelines and I would say are the top ones to keep in mind when setting up a caregiving plan for a loved one. A few others I would add would be, if someone would like to offer their time allow them this maybe a second cousin or the brother to the sister of the niece, take as much help as possible. If someone seems to be doing the majority of the weekend duties make sure you set up a relief schedule so that they can have a break once in awhile. You don’t want someone getting burned out and then not wanting to or able to continue help. Finally, re-evaluate the schedule every few months or so, so it doesn’t get to routine and keep it flexible remember caregivers have life’s also.

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