Paying for health care is the biggest worry for aging Canadians – Is your family talking about this?
Oct 21st, 2014 by Families First Mediation

There was a recent article by The Canadian Press that stated  “Working longer may not be possible after serious health events and that paying for health care in old age is Canadians biggest worry.”  

The article (read it here) identifies that 47% said they worried about needing more long-term care than they have the money for, while 45 % said they fret over whether they’ll outlive their savings.

If these are the concerns, how do you manage them? For starters, how do you even talk about them with your family?

Should your wife/husband and/or children be aware of what your long-term care wishes are? Should they know how much you have available and what you would like if your savings are not sufficient?  Read the rest of this entry »

What Is Elder Care (Caregiver) Mediation?
Oct 15th, 2014 by Families First Mediation

Elder Care Mediation – As our population ages, families are facing many challenges as their living requirements change and age related issues become a normal part of their everyday lives.

Perhaps it is your transition or you’re a family member that’s experiencing these issues as you assist in the role as caregiver to a senior family member. Either way, this blog may help you.

eldercare mediationFamilies are often in conflict with decisions concerning the care of elder family member. 

It is important for everyone involved to have a voice in the decision making, to have open discussions about some sensitive topics and too generally bridge the gap between adult children and their senior loved ones as well as the gap between siblings. Family mediation is a terrific way to bridge these gaps.

In elder care mediation, the family members, including the elder family member, choose who should be involved in the discussions and the issues to be addressed. The elder care mediation process provides a safe and respectful place to have a conversation where important information can be gathered, ideas shared and plans agreed to.

The advantages of Elder Care mediation are:

  • Elder family member can be involved as much as possible in the decisions
  • Finances and tasks can be divided up
  • Families can develop a plan that is customized for their individual needs

The primary topics of discussion are the care of an elder family member are Quality of Life, Housing, Financial Decisions and working through Family conflict.


Perhaps you are downsizing, moving in with your children or relocating to a retirement community. There are many financial and emotional decisions to be made during this time. At this time the senior parent can lose their voice in the process as adult children begin to take decisions away. Often adult children will have a high level of conflict during the decision making period.

Support and Personal Care agreements

When a child takes on responsibility for a parent it may cause hardship both financially and emotionally, require a significant time commitment or increased costs for the child. In many instances siblings have difficulty with these decisions and any compensation that a parent wants to provide to the child that has become the caregiver.

The reality is that there needs to be a division of duties, decisions about bringing in outside professionals, relief for caregivers and agreement on the level of care needed.

Estate Planning

There are many financial and legal affairs that will need to be taken care of. You may need to modify a will, create Powers of Attorney or simply rebalance your household budget based on your new requirements.

It is a very emotional and stressful time for many families and sometimes there is a sense of urgency. Keeping all families on the same page will ensure a smooth transition and less conflict.

As a mediator my role is to help your family be future focused and address the needs of all family members.

Julie Gill, Q.Med, CDFA

Families First Mediation

Parenting Plans & Teens…How To Handle Changes
Oct 7th, 2014 by Families First Mediation

You have been divorced for 6 years. Your parenting plan did an excellent job of identifying when each of you would be the “active” parent and spend time with your kids. It set out how you were going to parent, how you would handle holidays, expenses and how you as parents would make changes to the plan.

parenting teen


Surprise, surprise, your 15 year old has decided that your parenting plan no longer works for him/her. Did you discuss during your separation how you would handle changes that were initiated by your children?

Read the rest of this entry »

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