One of the most challenging issues that most families will face at some point in their lives has to do with aging parents, grandparents, or even siblings. As family members get older, they will face health and financial issues that younger people do not usually have to worry about, and these issues often become acute just when the elder relative is losing their ability to handle their affairs effectively.
While most families come together to deal with these issues, some families find it very difficult. When a parent or older sibling was usually the authority figure or decision-maker, many families find it difficult to suddenly step into this role and begin making decisions for their elder, and resentments and other lingering issues come to the forefront causing bickering, arguments, and decision paralysis.
Family mediation is often an ideal way to resolve these disputes and get decisions made for the elder relative’s care and comfort. Mediation brings all the family members together and offers a safe and controlled environment to express feelings and an assessment of what each family member feels would be the right choices. Mediaition inspires cooperation, compromise and acceptance of opposing points of view. Mediation can help families to realize and maintain harmony amongst all.
Most importantly, family mediation is a way of putting the needs and care of the elder relative above petty squabbles and disagreements. It can form a new decision-making process in the absence of an authoritarian parent or sibling and allow families to move forward together while ensuring the best possible care for their elder parent or other relative. A trained and experienced mediator will have the skills to encourage collaboration and help families find ways to exchange ideas and build solutions as opposed to simply resisting ideas.