CENTRE FOR MEDIATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION ONLINE

Knowledge Base

To Move or Not to Move An Elder,
Whose Decision Is It Anyway 

 

November 1, 2013
Written by Halee D. Berg, Esq.

Four out of ten American adults provide care for an aging relative, a figure that is projected to rise dramatically in the next decade.  If you are among these adult caregivers, you are intimately familiar with the myriad of issues you face and the enormity of the challenges that accompany your role. Whether you are caregiving now, or know that it is only a matter of time before you will need to, a threshold issue that will need to be addressed is deciding where the person in need shall live.

The issue of an elder’s possible move is complex and laden with layers of emotion.  It is not uncommon for an elder to have lived in their home for thirty, forty, or even fifty years.  Their home is the place where they metaphorically “grew up, ” where they raised their children, where the family congregates, where the stories of their lives are shared and displayed. Many cannot bear to even consider, much less discuss, leaving the place that means everything to them. 

Consider these common scenarios:

In each case: 

In the silence that ensues, Mom, Dad, Aunt Bess and each of their caregivers are likely to become further entrenched in their positions, perhaps straining or fracturing the close bonds each family has shared.

At CMDR, we work with families just like these.  Through mediation, we support each family in having the discussions necessary to work through these critical residential decisions. Our neutral mediators help ensure that these confidential conversations are productive and search for the common intersections among participants’ goals.  As various options are explored, some of the many questions that may be asked may include:  

For the elder:

For the caregivers and/or family members of the elder: 

And for all involved:

Deciding on a loved one’s current and future living situation means having a collaborative family discussion. Often, these discussions are not easy. With the guidance of an experienced CMDR mediator, we will help you consider questions, ensuring that each voice at the table is heard and that each one’s perspective is fully understood.  Mediation will provide the opportunity to make thorough and thoughtful informed decisions, while preserving family relationships. 


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