Family meeting rules and regulations
Chances are most of you have participated in meetings, so you're aware of the following basic procedures. And while it might feel a little strange to be somewhat formal with each other, a few ground rules do help.
- Stick to the agreed-upon agenda.
- No interrupting. Wait until someone is finished talking before you speak.
- No accusations (as in: "You always side in with him.").
- Make sure what you have to say reflects what you think, not what you think others think. Start your sentences with "I," not "we."
- Stay focused on your mom’s caregiving decisions and what's best for her. That means leaving behind any unsettled scores.
- If you're not clear on a point your sibling has made, ask for clarification. Try something like, "I'd like to make sure I'm clear about what you are saying. I heard (then repeat what you think you heard). Is that right?" Don't assume.
- Create action steps as you complete each item on the agenda. Identify any other information you need before making a decision.
- If all or most of you are online, share email addresses so that in the future you can exchange information on websites, send pertinent attachments, and communicate quickly with each other and the staff in charge of your mom’s care.
- Wrap up the meeting with everyone clearly understanding what caregiving decisions you've made as a group and who will be responsible for any next steps. Create a list of these duties and share it before the meeting breaks up.
If your family works together as a team, it will be much better for your mom and easier for all of you.