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You're surprised when your dad calls to say he wants to move to a care community. But he's decided that you and your siblings should determine his fate. Everyone is fighting about different ideas. How do you achieve consensus?

Your dad has put you all in an awkward situation by asking you and your siblings to choose for him. It sounds as though your father is competent enough to know that he wants to be in a care community. It could be that your dad is just overwhelmed at the idea of being alone in a big house that he can no longer maintain.

Meet with your dad and try to find out if, in fact, he does want to move from his home or if he just needs help around the house. If he does want to stay at home, that would rule out some of the options your siblings are fighting about. And is it a family conflict or just multiple points of view? There is no need to make a fight of your father's request. If your father is capable of making an informed choice, propose that all siblings meet with your dad to ask him his preference. Tell him that each of you has a good idea and then seek his opinion.

Since your father opened the door to your family's involvement in this decision, teamwork will be the best approach to resolving the dilemma. Gather the family to come to agreement with your father. In the end, if your father is of sound mind, the decision must be his.

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Last revised: December 29, 2010

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