Does this sound familiar? Mom is having trouble remembering things. Dad refuses to give up the car. Siblings begin fighting about the best way to move forward to help. It may be time for Elder Mediation.
Elder mediation specializes in small and large conflicts commonly faced by seniors, such as which sibling gets to make medical care decisions for a parent, dependence issues, or financial planning. By engaging in Elder Mediation, you can avoid having to hire attorneys, go into court, or leaving bad blood that can break a family. Each person has different reasons for concern, including safety, quality of life, and money for care.
Baby-boomers currently make up the fastest growing segment of the elderly population. The “sandwich generation” increasingly find themselves caring for their parents and their children at the same time. At Happy Mediation Company, we work with adult siblings and seniors to address family issues around shared decision-making and communication. 1 in 4 households is involved in some kind of elder care, according to the Pew Foundation. The responsibility is fraught with anxiety, guilt, and often fighting among family members.
Family members often have different opinions on whether elders can remain in their own homes. At the core of the child decision is the safety of mom or dad. But at the core of the senior’s decision is their independence and ability to be treated as an adult. We help by brainstorming options for families that they can live with for now and in the future. We also help by allowing the senior to realize that additional care plan may have to be put in place to resolve future conflicts as well.
By starting the conversation early and in a neutral space, families can avoid the fighting and resentment that often comes when a senior is forced into a living situation they do not want. Seniors are encouraged to share with the families what is important to them regarding their medical care, living options and decision making, when they are no longer able to do so. By embracing mediation, families can avoid future disputes and decision-making issues that may arise.
Mediation can help families think rationally and not with emotions that often arise during a crisis. This will lead you to make better decisions about your senior’s care. A good mediator can help you to separate emotions from being able to think critically. This will in turn help your family to become more united and help rebuild your relationship for when the next crisis happens. In this way, your family can become the team your senior needs.
No one likes to think about death, but it is an inevitable part of life. By attending mediation, seniors have an open opportunity to speak with their estate about how they will be dividing their belongings. Instead of worrying about possible fighting over your estate, leaving your children to hire expensive lawyers, adult children are brought in prior to your death to discuss your assets. Your well-intended plans can create some issues that can be worked out in advance in mediation.
Mediation provides assistance with those issues and can provide better solutions for everyone concerned. It can also help after death with family members to uncover concerns which were never discussed prior to the death of a parent. Fighting over the estate in court can destroy already fragile relationships. When close families go to court, even the winners lose. They lose the people closest to them in their life and their family connections. Rather than it in the hands of attorneys and judges, choose mediation. In mediation all family members can be heard and control the process. In addition, mediation costs less than litigation in terms of time, money, and emotions. Mediation helps different parties get a better grasp of each person’s point of view. Thereby allowingfor a greater understanding and possibly a better relationship going forward.
Elder Mediation helps seniors and their adult children resolve conflicts regarding:
- Family Care-Giving
- Decision Making
- Living Arrangements
- Elder Transitions
- Financial Management
- Medical Decisions
- Issues of Independence
- Short vs Long Term Care Concerns
- Issues of Grief and Loss
- Estate planning