If there is an aging member of your family who soon may need help at home or perhaps will move into an eldercare facility of some kind, it's essential for everyone to talk about what's ahead. Consider trying to call the appropriate relatives together for a family meeting—and be prepared to answer some of these questions:
Can you meet? Frequently, inertia will take over or some family members won't see the need for a family discussion. It's difficult to find the time with our busy schedules and other commitments. What's more, many families today are dispersed around the country and beyond. Nevertheless, it's important to bring everyone together to work out a plan.
Why should you meet? Whether or not specific problems need to be addressed immediately, a meeting gives family members a chance to share information and air their concerns. One or more siblings may feel that too much of the caretaking is falling to them, while others may express their intention to do more. Encourage family members to get such feelings out on the table. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong approach. The needs of each family and the best solutions for everyone will vary.
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