Even the closest of siblings can find themselves in conflict when working together in caring for aging parents. Sometimes, both you and your siblings are simply unable to reach an agreement about the best care strategy for your aging parents.
Some disagreements that may arise:
- Disagreements about money
- Rivalries about which sibling the parent “liked more”
- Different opinions on treatment options
- Who has borne the brunt of the work of taking care of the parent
That’s where an elder mediator can help.
What is an elder mediator?
An elder mediator is a trained professional—sometimes a therapist or attorney—who helps adult siblings sort out new or unresolved issues surrounding their parents so that they can both collaborate on the best care plan.
How can a mediator help?
- Provide an impartial, third-party opinion
- Quell any heated emotions or arguments
- Help the family remain focused on the most important topic: their loved one
How is an elder mediator different from a family therapist?
- Elder mediators target a specific issue: the care strategy for a parent.
- The process is more condensed, with many families reaching resolutions within just a few sessions.
- The focus is not just the parent, but also to maintain healthy relationships between the other family members.
How can I get started?
First, have a conversation with your family member about why you believe an elder mediator could be helpful so that everyone is on the same page. Try expressing your current concerns and how you feel like the existing conflicts could be resolved with the mediator. Being clear about your intentions and expectations for the process and being open to hearing theirs can help show a loved one that you care about their feelings during the care process as well.
Then, to find an elder mediator in your area, visit Academy of Professional Family Mediators’ (APFM) mediator directory.
When searching for elder mediation options, there are several questions you should ask:
- What is your education, training, and background?
- How much experience do you have in our particular situation?
- Are you a member of the APFM or other professional associations?
- What are your fees?
San Diego Home Caregivers can help!
After mediation, connect with San Diego Home Caregivers, and we’ll talk about how we can help make sure all of your parent’s care needs are completely met.
Give us a call 24/7 at (619) 487-9000.