Monday, June 28, 2010

Geriatric Management Consulting #4

Image courtesy of Michael Pflelghaar

Recently there was an article on the E-Myth website ( The Challenges of a Family Business written by their staff. It describes the unique challenges family businesses face and why these often fail. It brought to mind a response I sometimes get when I ask family members a question they don’t want to answer: That’s none of your business! I usually respond---but it is yours and it is important. Do you know the answer?

Caregiving is a family business. For me family includes all the formal and informal networks that characterize modern community life.

The article cites the University of Southern Maine’s Institute for Family-Owned Business. “Three underlying causes of failure…:1) unresolved conflict, 2) failed leadership, and 3) lack of shared goals on a personal, family and business level…also differences over management roles, sibling conflict, financial issues, and lack of long-term company vision…”

It is crucial to remember that eventually every person in the family system will need care whether it is acute, chronic, and/or endstage. Facing up to and resolving these challenges will improve everyone’s quality of life. As government sponsored social services evaporate it is the family/friend network that will provide the safety net.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that net was woven big and strong enough of the best materials possible, checked regularly for holes and mended in all the necessary places?

Wouldn’t you feel more secure given the inevitability of illness, aging, dying?

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