Even siblings who are usually in accord can struggle to agree about the care needs of aging parents. Stress levels and emotions are, obviously, running high. Combine that with your past family history and dynamics, which have a tendency to resurface during challenging times, and it’s easy to see how complicated this phase in life can be for each of you.
Common disagreements about the care needs of your aging parents often revolve around financial decisions, different opinions on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an unfair division of duties pertaining to caregiving, just to mention a few.
Even with the best intentions and great communication, it can often be a challenge to get on the same page as your other siblings, and you may not reach that point at all. An impasse like this is quite common, frequently stemming from challenging family dynamics and unresolved disputes. However, there is a solution many families are not aware of that may be exceedingly beneficial: enlisting the help of an elder mediator.
An elder mediator offers a third-party, objective voice to family meetings while you discuss the care needs of your aging parents. They can help calm elevated feelings and outbursts and steer the discussion in a way that results in 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.”
As opposed to family therapy, which progressively helps families work through issues little by little over a long period of time, elder mediation is a targeted, compacted method that normally results in an agreeable end result in just a handful of sessions.
With elder mediation, siblings can have a guide while offering their opinions and respectfully listening to each other’s viewpoints. The purpose is not only to identify the very best outcome for the elderly parents, but to help siblings preserve healthy relationships with one another in the process.
When researching elder mediation options, there are a number of questions you should ask:
- What amount of experience do you have in our particular situation?
- What is your education, training, and background?
- What are your fees?
- Are you a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) or other professional associations?
If you’re searching for an elder mediator, go to APFM’s mediator directory. Once you and your siblings decide on the most effective path forward in caring for your aging parents, give Heaven at Home, the leading home care company in Denton, Dallas, and Frisco, a call. We will be glad to provide a free in-home consultation to discuss how we can help ensure all their care needs are met. You can reach us any time online or at 940-380-0500.