Resolving Family Conflict

Issues that trigger family conflict:

  • Health/medical care/financial decisions
  • Powers of Attorney – who makes what decisions
  • Residence and long term care decisions
  • Inheritance disputes
  • Second marriage or partner
  • Autonomy vs. safety of older adult (ie; driving)
  • Caregiver burnout/”Swooping”

How can YOU participate/help?

  • Advocate vs. neutral party
  • Facilitate family meeting
  • Refer to professionals in the community
    • Elder mediators
    • Geriatric care managers
    • Elder law attorneys

The Family Meeting

  • Set an agenda/confirm issues/stick to it
  • Use a flip chart
  • Communication rules – no name calling/be respectful
  • Begin with easier issues/things you might agree on
  • Focus on ultimate outcome (ie: parents well-being)
  • Discuss consequences/implications of options
  • If disagreement – ask if person can modify proposal
  • No voting – result: Can everyone live with this?

If your family needs the help of a professional, you can join the Aging Life Network for a fee that includes access to live support services, 24/7 online resources, and savings on additional care management services.

Guidance and practical steps to take to resolve conflict in the family-centered around your aging loved ones.

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