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University of Minnesota Extension

Making long term care decisions

How will your family cope when faced with the dilemmas and decisions regarding long term care? Decisions regarding a range of issues — from how to pay the bills to caregiving roles — can challenge family relationships. Take time to understand potential sources of conflict in advance. Then learn strategies to avoid or reduce the impact of these common conflicts!

Sources of conflict

The experiences of families suggest that there are seven potential sources of conflict commonly experienced:

  • Definition of problem and care needs.

  • Role expectations.

  • Value, attitude or belief differences.

  • Decision making processes.

  • Unresolved prior conflicts.

  • Lack of communication or miscommunication.

  • Suitable solutions.

Families may disagree about one or many of these topics. A single conflict may have multiple sources. The diagram below shows that potential sources of conflict may happen in any order.

Graphic showing the potential sources of conflict

Strategies to avoid conflict

Here are seven strategies to avoid or reduce common family decision-making conflicts.

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