Family Dynamics

Long term care may impact family

Family dynamics

Long term care conversations with the important people in your life may be unpredictable, but also eye opening. It is important to know what their expectations are as well as yours.  Family dynamics can come into play and cause some uncertainty. You may be faced with the occasional obstacle.  It is important to start planning now... before you are in the middle of an event.

  • It is ok to be business like. It can help to have a formal family meeting and, if necessary, include a mediator — a family therapist or geriatric case worker. Write up an agenda and some ground rules in advance (for example, each person gets five minutes to speak, or certain topics are not to be discussed).
  • Avoid hot topics. This is not the time to revisit old issues. Focus on the topics at hand (where will she live, how will she pay for care, etc.). 
  • If a face-to-face discussion is not realistic then email. Email will allow you time to think before you type, and time to edit before you hit “send.”
  • Be direct and establish various family members roles and responsibilities (financial as well) when discussing scenarios and situations.
  • Talk about your feelings using “I” messages and speaking from personal experience. Avoid “you” sentences that might suggest blame or come across as criticisms. That will only make people defensive and angry.

128313LO5 05/26/15


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