Mediating Family Decisions in Elder Care
As society ages, more of us find ourselves and our siblings involved in helping aging parents around issues of care and more. Adult siblings may find conversations with parents and each other difficult and sometimes overwhelming. Individual family and economic considerations, and simple geography can challenge the ability to participate actively in parent care and decisions, and old patterns of sibling rivalry may resurface (yes, even in our 50’s and 60’s!).
This is where mediation can help.
When an important family discussion is needed, the mediation process is an important option to consider. Mediation’s goals include:
- Giving an opportunity to identify a wide range of options and to create mutually acceptable solutions to difficult issues
- Developing strategies to continue to make decisions together in the future as circumstances change
- Developing understanding of the importance of working together – key to the well-being of the parent
- And finally, avoiding court and guardianship processes which can increase cost and conflict
The mediator convenes a family meeting to create a space where everyone feels heard and individual concerns and circumstances are shared and understood, and to facilitate a conversation to develop creative solutions and to address the changing nature of the relationships in the family.
Mediating early around issues enables all parties to approach issues more calmly and clearly – when things are in crisis, high emotions can make it tricky to find the right solutions! Whenever possible, it is important to involve the senior family member in the process to play a part in these important decisions.
Because the process is built around families exploring options and developing solutions that reflect their own family’s unique situation, the outcomes reached tend to be more satisfying and long-lasting. Because the process invites the family to address communication approaches both now and in the future, the family is more prepared to have productive conversations as things change and around other issues, and to keep and strengthen their relationships with each other.
For elder care (or other care) issues, I offer a service throughout South Wales. Please see my website https://annlukens.co.uk/ for more information, or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07503 070835, for a free ½ hour consultation to help you decide if this is the right process for you and your family.