Not all the issues in family caregiving and decision-making can be solved; sometimes it is important to accept a temporary solution. It's important to try to work toward building a consensus. Change happens slowly, but when families meet regularly, seeds are planted that can grow into more productive solutions. Often things do not change until there is a crisis, but the work that has been done during the family meeting will make decision-making easier when the crisis does come. Agreements can be made on a limited-time basis to see if the agreed-upon action actually works. Future meetings can be used to evaluate these trials and revise them if needed.
Respecting each other's points of view help to create an atmosphere of acceptance and allows for creative solutions to be born. In order for these solutions to work, people have to learn to compromise. By being open to alternatives, you might get part—although maybe not all—of what you want or need. Often, family members, or ourselves, hold out for only one solution to a problem, and don't consider other possibilities that could assist the situation. Asking for help is one of the hardest things for anyone to do. Learning to graciously receive help offered can also be a struggle, not only for the person who is sick, but also for the person who is the primary family caregiver. Being appreciative is the best reward you can give someone who is trying to help you, even if the type of help he/she is offering isn't exactly what you wanted. When you make someone feel good about helping, he/she will want to help again. “Thank you” will take you a long way in working together. In creating the family caregiving team, think about how each person should be acknowledged.
A written agreement capturing the decisions and agreements made at the end of the family caregiver meetings can be a helpful reminder for the different team members. Distributing a calendar with different days marked with responsibilities and commitments can also help each person honor the agreements made.