Learn How To Hold Family Meetings

Regular meetings can help families work together to support an older adult.

Meetings that improve family dynamics often:

  • Help family members share information or make decisions or plans together

  • Focus on the older adult's needs, wishes and priorities

  • Include all family members who help make or carry out decisions

  • Are held at times and places convenient for as many people as possible

  • Use phone or video conferencing to allow more family members to join

  • Have an agenda, or list of specific things to discuss

  • Review what was discussed in the last meeting

  • Create a shared record of decisions and plans made

  • Recognize the contributions of each family member

  • Set and follow ground rules

Ground rules for good communication during family meetings may include:

  • We will take turns speaking.

  • We will listen to and not interrupt each other.

  • We will ask questions and try to understand others.

  • We will share concerns without blaming or attacking others.

  • We can ask to take a break.

Scheduling family meetings, coming up with agendas and taking notes are important tasks that can be rotated between family members or that certain people take on.