When you’re working together to ensure the care needs of your aging parents are met, even the closest of brothers and sisters could find themselves in opposition. Stress levels and emotions are, obviously, running high. Combine that with your past family dynamics and history, which tend to resurface in the midst of challenging times, and it’s easy to see how difficult this stage in life can be for each of you.
The most common areas of contention among siblings consist of financial decisions, differing viewpoints on health-related treatments or living arrangements, and an unfair division of duties related to caregiving, just to mention a few.
At times, no matter how hard you try, you and your siblings are just not able to come to an understanding on precisely how to best care for your parents. An impasse similar to this is quite common, frequently resulting from complex family dynamics and unresolved disputes. However, there’s a remedy many families are not aware of that may be particularly helpful: bringing in an elder mediator.
What Are the Benefits of an Elder Mediator?
A professional skilled in resolving conflicts, an elder mediator brings an independent, third-party voice to family conversations. They can help defuse heightened emotions and outbursts and direct the discussion in a way that leads to an outcome 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 sort out challenges little by little over a prolonged period of time, elder mediation is a targeted, compacted method that commonly results in an agreeable outcome in just a couple of sessions.
Elder mediators allow siblings the chance to both offer input and listen with respect to each other. The purpose is not only to try to find the very best outcome for the elderly parents, but to help the rest of the family maintain healthy relationships with each other in the process.
When exploring elder mediation solutions, there are several questions you should ask:
- What is your education, training, and background?
- Are you a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) or other professional associations?
- What amount of experience do you have in our particular situation?
- What are your fees?
To find an elder mediator in your area, check out APFM’s mediator directory. Once you and your brothers and sisters decide on the most effective path forward in taking care of your aging parents, contact CareFor, the top home care company in Austin, San Antonio, Waco, and the surrounding area. We will be happy to schedule a no-cost in-home assessment to talk about how we can help ensure all their care needs are met. You can reach us any time at (512) 338-4533.