How do you resolve disputes with your aging parents and/or your siblings regarding elder care?Issues like residence decisions, distribution of caregiving responsibilities, safety and health concerns, wills and estates, the sale of the family home, and more can divide a family for years to come.  When communication is difficult and critical decisions are put on hold, families may need the help of a skilled mediator to get them unstuck so they can move forward while respecting all parties.

Elder Mediation

Elder mediation is based on a wellness model that promotes a positive approach to resolving disputes for all its participants.  It is the process of working collaboratively with a mediator to help families deal with issues they are facing such as those mentioned above and other issues that may come with aging.  It is a respectful, poignant, and civilized conversation, whereby the mediator facilitates a resolution to the issues of dispute.

Who can participate?

Participants may include family members, their respective spouses, caregivers, and other professional service providers.  The mediator will develop solutions with the family members to address needs, fairness, and fears to determine the best course of action for aging parents. Basic agreements and long terms plans may be reached and put into writing.

Brothers and Sisters

Chances are brothers and sisters may not have had to work together to solve issues regarding their parents’ care.  They may have different points of view.

Siblings may have a difficult time agreeing how to handle their aging parents’ needs for such things as long term care and health care.  Communication may become difficult, strained, or emotional.

A mediator specialized in dealing with elder disputes can help avoid fighting within the family as well as excessive costs which litigation would bring.  For a mediator, it is important to have the family remain intact during these difficult times and reach a resolution together.

What can I expect from the Mediator?

A mediator is a neutral third party who is skilled and education in mediation, who helps the family with appropriate processes in order to help them reach true consensus on decisions regarding elder care.  The mediator will help clear up misunderstandings and keep the family on track.  The mediator will also encourage family members to focus on the best interests of their parents moving forward, while helping family members to consider as many options as possible by having family members evaluate each option carefully.  The mediator will help facilitate an agreement between the parties and draft an agreement accordingly and may provide for future modifications of their written agreement as the need arises.

The mediator will encourage all parties to be respective of one another and enter into negotiations in good faith with a view to resolving all matters.

Blog posts are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.

Written by Marian Grande, Mediator
JUNE 24, 2020

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