Most of us have to cope with issues related to an aging parent or family member at some point in our lives. We don’t always want to face it but the issues related to an elder can become overwhelming and create conflict within the family. The elder may rely on others for assistance and need the support of a good plan in place that meets his/her needs. The caregivers may feel overwhelmed with responsibility and need help. Elder Mediation provides an opportunity for the family to discuss options and plan for the future. The discussion can be preventative in nature or deal with a crisis. When a family member begins to experience physical or mental changes that cause concern for the elder or others, it is important for the family to get together to discuss these issues and the earlier the better. Facilitated family discussions can be positive where the focus is a meaningful exchange of ideas that revolve around the expressed or known interests of the loved one, even if there is conflict between family members.
Typical Issues for Elder Mediation
• Building in Supports
• Developing a Plan of Care for the Elder
• Power of Attorney Decisions
• Family Conflicts or Disagreements
• Health Care Planning
• Abuse and Neglect by family or staff
• Housing and Living Arrangements
• Estate Planning
• Caregiver Burnout
• Financial Concerns
• Intergenerational Relationships
• Sibling Relationships
• Family Business
• Succession Planning
• Any other issue
It is important to consider having an objective third party facilitate the meeting. Our mediators assist everyone to prepare for the meeting by giving thought to what might be helpful. Family members can prepare a list of their concerns as well as suggestions. Current factual information can be shared so everyone gets the same information at the same time. A plan is developed and the family may choose to keep a record of it so that everyone is clear on what the plan was that they developed. The family may need to have other meetings from time to time to discuss alternative plans as the situation changes. These meetings tend to enhance relationships and communication and set the focus on the needs of the elder. The mediator will find ways for family members who are not able to attend a meeting to participate in it via telephone conferencing, skype, etc.
At PCCS we offer Elder Mediation to families who wish to resolve any type of elder issue. We help create a safe, confidential environment to address difficult or sensitive conversations and situations. The mediator manages the process but the family determines the outcome.
Our Accredited Family Mediators have been specifically trained in Elder Mediation and focus not just on the conversation to be mediated but on the healing and restoration of relationships. The Mediator ensures an equal voice for all, while respecting individual values and self-determination.
Elder Mediation is a voluntary process in which the trained Elder Mediator works with all participants to assist them in arriving at their own decisions about how to resolve the issues. It is a low cost but most effective procedure to resolve existing conflict, potential conflict, and/or to develop plans of care. Referrals come from a family member, service provider, the elder, a friend, hospital, doctor, or anyone else who thinks elder mediation can be helpful.by