Communicating with Family during Covid

My work at the Chartwell New Edinburgh Square is busy, rewarding and, at times, challenging. I often fnd myself reaching out for help and counsel. One of the resources I’ve found is from Gerontological Social Worker, Dr. Amy D’Aprix.


Over the years, we've been fortunate at Chartwell to have Dr. Amy provide training and contribute blogs and information seminars.  With over 30 years experience in social work gerontology she has a pulse on hot buttons and fears.  Critical information during a pandemic.


These conversations are not always easy. The first one might not be successful.  But, her common sense approach is comforting, and effective. I hope you find it helpful.    


Dr. Amy D’Aprix


“Sometimes, communication between family members can get

complicated. We may feel nervous to broach a topic with a loved

one that we aren’t sure they will agree with, or we may get

frustrated when other family members like our spouses or siblings

don’t share our point of view. At times, it can be hard to truly

listen to one another—for example, we may think we’re right, be

in a hurry, have other responsibilities to contend with, or perhaps

even fear the consequences of the decision being discussed.



Regardless, it’s essential not to let the possibility of disagreement

stop us from having conversations with our loved ones about

important life topics that may require shared decision making.

Doing so will help us to proactively plan before a crisis occurs,

make decisions built on respect, and communicate openly

and collaboratively.


A good communication tool to keep in mind is LERA


LISTEN: Let your family member express themselves

without interrupting.

EMPATHIZE: Validate what they are feeling without trying to

negate or explain it away. The emotional components

of decision making are just as important as

the practical considerations.

REFRAME: Let them know what they’re feeling is normal.

ACT: Reiterate your suggested plan of action after

they feel heard and understood.”


Find more resources on and Chartwell Youtube channel, including:


Caregiving During a Pandemic: The Impact on Families

Guest speaker: Dr. Amy D’Aprix, Gerontological Social Worker