Q? : What is Elder Care and Adult Mediation?
Mediation is a structured, although informal process where the mediator, a neutral trained professional, helps the parties involved identify and discuss issues of mutual concern. The process is confidential and voluntary. When necessary, the parties might request the professional services of accountants, financial planners, geriatric social workers, religious leaders, and lawyers. These professional advisors often include care givers, such as nursing home administrators, physicians, and nurses, in addition to the elder and other interested family members.
Q? : Why choose mediation?
Family dynamics are complicated. They have taken years to evolve and they are further compounded by the transitions inherent in the changing lifestyle, relationships and needs of an elder. Family disputes that have been simmering for years often can obscure the best intentions of all involved. Mediation enables proactive families to have good discussions and opportunities to resolve conflict that potentially could tear them apart financially and emotionally. In mediated family meetings, everyone has the opportunity to privately explore the needs and feelings of all involved and to deal rationally with the problems and issues under discussion outside of a courtroom. The family knows what is best for them and mediation gives them the vehicle to make their own best decisions.
Q? : How are mediated agreements made?
Mediated agreements are the result of shared decision-making by the family for the family. With the help of a trained mediator, the process is cooperative, not adversarial, and leaves all decision making in the hands of the participants.
Q? : When is mediation appropriate?
Mediation is an appropriate forum for resolving any conflict where the parties involved participate voluntarily in the confidential process and are motivated to develop an agreement that improves their situation.
The following is a list of possible cases that could utilize elder care mediation:
(medical, physical, cognitive, emotional and financial issues included)
- Moving parent to alternative living or staying in home
- Disagreement over estate planning
- How much/who will handle care management of elderly parent
- Guardianship – who shall have it, sister, brother, facility or maybe it isn’t necessary
- Inheritance disputes
- End of life treatment
- Liquidate assets to pay for care (ie: selling parent’s home)
- Who should have power-of-attorney
- Shall we take away Mom/Dad’s care keys?
Q? : Is mediation right for your family?
If you are grappling with issues related to an elder’s financial responsibilities, capacity to make important decisions, or arrangements regarding daily living and assistance needs, mediation probably is the right road for you. Mediation lets you design realistic, workable solutions that preserve family relationships and emotional health.
Q? : Where are mediations held?
Mediation can be held in an attorney’s office, a private conference space or even in a family member’s home. Long distance family members that want to be included can be accommodated by telephone or skype.