When you need to work as a team to ensure the needs of one’s aging parents are met, even the closest of siblings may find themselves at odds. Stress levels and emotions are, commonly, running high. Add to that your past history and family dynamics, which commonly resurface during stressful times, and it’s quite easy to see how challenging this stage in life could very well be for each of you. The most frequent aspects of disagreement among family members include money matters, varying sentiments on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an unfair balance of tasks pertaining to caregiving, just to name a few. Luckily, mediation for family caregivers can help.
Occasionally, in spite of how hard you try, you and your family members are just unable to reach an agreement on precisely how to best care for aging parents. An impasse such as this is actually quite common, often stemming from challenging family dynamics and unresolved conflicts. However, there is an answer many families are not aware of that can be extremely helpful: enlisting the assistance of mediation for family caregivers.
A professional trained in conflict resolution, an elder mediator brings an impartial, third-party voice to family meetings. He or she can help diffuse heightened emotions and outbursts and lead the conversation in a way that leads to a result which 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.”
Different from family therapy, which helps families sort out issues slowly over a prolonged period of time, elder mediation is a targeted, compacted method that typically leads to an agreeable outcome in only a couple of sessions.
Elder mediators give siblings the chance to both offer input and listen respectfully to one another. The goal isn’t just to look for the most favorable outcome for the elderly parents, but to help family members preserve good relationships with each other along the way.
When exploring elder mediation options, there are several questions you should ask:
- What is your training, education, and background?
- What amount of experience do you have in our specific situation?
- Are you a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) or some other professional associations?
- Exactly what are your fees?
To identify an elder mediator in your area, visit APFM’s mediator directory. Once you and your family members decide on the most effective path forward in taking care of your aging parents, reach out to Home Sweet Home In-Home Care. We’ll be very happy to provide a no cost in-home consultation to talk about exactly how we can help ensure all of their care needs are completely met.
We are available any time at (866) 229-2505. Reach out to learn more about why we’re the top provider of Kalamazoo dementia care and care in other Michigan communities. For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our locations page.