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.