A stressful conversation for each family is what happens to money when a parent gets sick, and who will serve as the primary caretaker. One method of discussing difficult topics is to hold a family reunion. The team of monitors meets in a comfortable place, seated at a table and able to accommodate the documents discussed. (Using technologies such as Skype can help involve family members who live far away.) A well-organized meeting can provide family members with common support and a better understanding of the decisions to be made. If possible, record your meeting or let someone take notes. You can distribute meeting notes to other family members to encourage them to make future references. Consider creating a “Personal Care Agreement” with the necessary documents. A person should facilitate the meeting in order to keep the discussion going or set limits when the discussion is out of control. Some families choose an external facilitator, social worker, clergyman, geriatric care director or other person who has no personal interest in the outcome of the meeting. It may be necessary to have more than one meeting. A properly drafted personal care contract includes: is there a provision for space and counselling costs if the beneficiary lives with the caregiver (in proportion to pension benefits, mortgages, insurance, taxes)? Think about what happens when the recipient moves into a care facility.
Is health or dependency insurance purchased to cover the caregiver? If so, insert this into the personal care contract and you are specific without being inflexible. Consider adding an allowance for expenses that are easy to overlook. When planning the family reunion, it is important to include all necessary members. The question is whether the caregiver will participate. If your loved one has a cognitive disease (e.g. Alzheimer`s disease or other dementia), ask if he or she has the ability to understand the discussion and if it is likely to interfere. Are there “hot button” topics that are not discussed in their presence? How important is it for them to participate in decisions made on their behalf? Participation in all or part of the meeting may allow the caregiver to build confidence in the care team. This may help to cooperate later if tougher decisions are to be made.
When preparing an agreement, ask yourself what any care task means. For example, define “personal care”: does it include bathing, dressing, dental hygiene? If you define the care tasks and the time allotted, the result will be a more realistic assessment of care. Consider creating an “escape clause” in case one of the parties wishes to terminate the contract. Use a term such as “this agreement remains in effect until it is terminated in writing by both parties.” Consider a provision that “jumps” into action if the caregiver becomes ill or wants time off. Is there a security guard who can intervene temporarily? The tutor`s duties should be clearly specified in the agreement, but may include the term “or similar agreed by the parties” for flexibility. If the agreement is too rigid, it must be rewritten if circumstances change. A personal care contract has three basic conditions for a person that a family member must pay for care: to determine the level of care, contact a local health care agency, a doctor, a geriatric care manager, a hospital discharge planner or a social worker. A fee may be charged for the organization of an institutional care examination. It will also help to anticipate future care needs.