Elder Care Mediation
When it comes to agreeing on the best care for an aging loved one, many family members run into squabbles and divisions. The youngest daughter thinks Mom needs in-home care, but her older brothers think it’s time for assisted living. One sibling wants to oversee Dad’s finances, while the other siblings want to hire a professional. Disagreements over common elder issues include living arrangements, care providers, healthcare decisions, finances and legal matters.
Fortunately, many families who reach an impasse with elder care decisions are now turning to elder care mediation to help resolve disputes and preserve family relationships. A mediator is a third-party professional trained in conflict resolution, such as a mediation specialist, attorney or therapist. A mediator helps diffuse the clash and guides families through a process of finding common ground and respectful solutions to the difficult issues of caring for an aging relative.
Mediation does not involve the court system, so it’s typically more affordable and takes less time. Mediation is not counseling, but does involve all parties sharing their perspective, opinions and even emotions. One of the main goals is universal agreement on the best care possible for the senior family member.
Because the aging loved one at the center of the family dispute often just wants to keep the peace at the expense of sharing true feelings, it may depend on whether to invite the senior to take part in the mediation session(s). Mediation also can involve the participation of an elder law attorney, geriatric care manager, financial planner and others who can add their expertise to the conversations.
To find a mediator in your area:
- Visit Mediate.com or the National Eldercare Mediator Network.
- Call an elder law attorney in your locality and ask for a referral.
- Ask a librarian to help research mediators in your region.
Have you encountered any challenges with your siblings when an aging loved one became ill?