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.
Families 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.
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