When working together to assure the needs of one’s aging parents are met, even the closest of siblings may find themselves at odds. Stress levels and emotions are, of course, running high. Add to this your past family dynamics and history, which commonly resurface during difficult times, and it’s easy to see how challenging this stage in life might be for each of you. The most prevalent instances of disagreement among siblings include money matters, varying thoughts on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an inequitable balance of tasks pertaining to caregiving. Luckily, elder care mediation can help.
Occasionally, in spite of how hard you try, you and your siblings are simply unable to reach an understanding on how to best provide care for aging parents. An impasse similar to this is in fact quite typical, stemming from past, unresolved conflicts and challenging family dynamics. Nevertheless, there is an answer many families are not aware of, which can be exceedingly helpful: enlisting the assistance of an elder care mediator.
A specialist experienced in conflict resolution, an elder mediator provides an objective, third-party voice to family meetings. She or he can help diffuse heightened emotions and outbursts and lead the dialogue in a way that leads to a result that all parties can accept.
Elder mediator Susanne Terry explains, “Most of the time siblings want what’s best for the parents. They just look at it in a different way. Our goal is to help them figure out what their common interests are, so they can work together to find solutions.”
Unlike family therapy, which helps families work through issues little by little over an extended time period, elder mediation is a focused, compacted process that typically results in an agreeable outcome in only a handful of sessions.
Elder care mediation allows siblings the opportunity to both provide input and listen respectfully to each other. The aim isn’t just to determine the best outcome for elderly parents, but to help siblings maintain healthy relationships with each other during the process.
When exploring elder care mediation options, there are several questions you should ask:
- What is your education, training, and background?
- Exactly how much experience do you have in our particular situation?
- Are you a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) or other professional associations?
- Exactly what are your fees?
To identify an elder mediator in your community, visit APFM’s mediator directory. Once you and your siblings decide on the very best path forward in caring for your aging parents, reach out to JFS Care. We’ll be very happy to provide a no cost in-home consultation to discuss how we can help ensure all their home care needs are fully met. You can reach us any time at 213-383-2273 to learn more about our Los Angeles, CA home care and care services in nearby areas. Visit our service area page for a full list of the communities we serve.