Mediation: A Problem Solving Resource for Elderly Issues
When facing issues with the elder or elderly, many family members find themselves unable to resolve what may be even the simplest of issues. An experienced mediator can help families reach a fair and equitable resolution to issues such as:
How to put aside family dynamics to pragmatically resolve issues like trusts and inheritance, future health and personal care, health care proxies, power of attorney, financial planning and bill paying
How to discuss assisted living/nursing home issues with parents
How siblings can share responsibility for parental care
How to share responsibility with siblings that are not in close enough proximity to deal with day-to-day issues (i.e.; speaking to physicians and other care givers)
A Case for Mediation
My father had always been an independent person. In fact, he was responsible for everything relating to moving his older sisters into assisted living arrangements. However, when he turned 85, his vision began to fail, he had trouble remembering things and if we didn’t speak to him several times a day to remind him, he would forget to eat.
My brother and I talked to him about assisted living, but he wouldn’t have it. Then he fell, broke his hip and became completely incapable of caring for himself.
My brother wanted my father to move in with him, but my brother works 50-60 hours a week and I would wind up being the caretaker and having to travel an hour each way to my brother’s house. I suggested that we think about an assisted living so my father wouldn’t be alone all day—some place equidistant between my brother’s house and mine. My brother accused me of being selfish and jealous that my father was living with him. My father was afraid to be alone all day at my brother’s house, but dared not speak up. I simply wanted my father to be safe and looked after.
An attorney in my brother’s office suggested that we all sit down with a mediator—and we did. The mediator encouraged my father to vocalize his feelings and thoughts. Similarly my brother and I were able to present our concerns and ideas. With the help of the mediator, the three of us developed strategies to work and communicate with each other fairly.
What are the benefits of choosing a trained, neutral mediator?
A mediator is able to address the subtle issues that may often block problem-solving.
A mediator can assist family members in developing strategies to deal with their particular situation.
A mediator can provide a safe environment in which all family members are comfortable airing their issues.
A mediator can engage each family member and insure fairness while working towards resolution.
A mediator enables all parties to maintain their dignity in a difficult situation.
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