Caring for Elderly Parents: The Benefits of an Elder Mediator
When caring for elderly parents, even tightknit siblings can struggle to work together to fulfill their parents’ care needs. Levels of stress and emotions are, needless to say, running high. Couple that with your past family history and dynamics, which have a tendency to resurface during difficult times, and it’s not hard to see how difficult this stage in life can be for all of you.
Among the most common disputes between siblings caring for aging parents together are financial decisions, different opinions on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an unfair division of tasks pertaining to caregiving, just to mention a few.
Sometimes, even when you all try your best, you and your siblings will fail to get on the same page about how to best care for your parents. An impasse like this is quite common, often stemming from complex family dynamics and unresolved differences. However, there is a remedy many families are not aware of that may be exceedingly beneficial: bringing in an elder mediator.
Elder mediators are professionally trained in conflict resolution, and they offer a neutral, third-party voice to family conversations. They can help defuse heightened feelings and outbursts and direct the dialogue in a way that creates an outcome that everyone 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.”
Family therapy guides families through struggles over a period of time, but elder mediation is a more focused, precise method that generally results in an agreeable outcome in only a few sessions.
With the help of an elder mediator, siblings have the space to offer their point of view while also listening to each other’s point of views in a controlled, respectful setting. The objective is not only to look for the very best outcome for the senior parents, but to help the rest of the family retain healthy relationships with each other in the process.
When investigating elder mediation choices, there are a number of questions you should ask:
- What are your fees?
- What is your education, training, and background?
- What amount of experience do you have in our particular situation?
- Are you a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) or other professional associations?
If you’re caring for aging parents with your siblings and need the help of an elder mediator, check out APFM’s mediator directory. Once you and your brothers and sisters decide on the most effective path forward in caring for your aging parents, give Endeavor In Home Care, the leading home care company in Chandler, Phoenix, and Mesa, a call. We will be glad to provide a no-cost in-home consultation to talk about how we can help ensure all their care needs are met. You can reach us any time online or at 480-498-2324.