Welcome - European Network on Family Group Conference

Democratizing help and welfare in Europe
Supporting my mother

Claudia B├╝rger: “Supporting my mother in her daily life started with shopping together. However, due to her age, she declined more and more. The amount of care she needed increased steadily. My mother’s greatest wish was to be able to remain in her familiar environment.

My mother wanted only my daughters and me to continue caring for her, but this would not have been possible. During a training course, I learned about the “family group conference” method and suggested it to my mother. With the aim of adapting the care situation to my mother’s needs, the family council took place in January 2021. My daughters, their friends, a dear neighbor, my aunts and my maternal uncle were involved. In compliance with pandemic regulations, not all participants were present, but were connected via video conference.

Although the situation was particularly challenging under these conditions, the family council had worked well. Everyone had voiced their thoughts, freely and openly proposed solutions from different perspectives. My family is very emotional in the way it conducts its discussions, but thanks to the coordinator, the council took place in a pleasant setting. The interaction was appreciative, my mum was in the center of attention and part of the action. She clearly expressed her opinion and agreed with the plan that had been drawn up.

Since August 2021, my mother has been in need of care due to a fall and hospitalization. This implied an adaptation of the plan. A follow-up council took place on a small scale with the involvement of my mother. Despite the changed situation, I would like to emphasize the positive effects of the family council. Attention is still paid to mum’s needs. The family system still works and there is always someone there for mum. As a daughter, I know that the involved people implement what has been agreed, even when I am not there. And my mother can rely on the system.”

 

A story from Austria

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