Elder Mediation Can Reduce Family Strife
When a parent gets older and begins to need additional care, it can create stress within a family. For example, siblings might argue over what is best for an aging parent. If one family member is doing the bulk of the care, it can lead to resentment within the family, especially if the person providing the care is also receiving compensation for the work.
One way to deal with these issues is with an elder mediator. A mediator does not make any decisions and does not take sides. Instead, the mediator listens to the issue, keeps the family focused on goals, encourages consideration of all the options, and helps clear up misunderstandings and address hurt feelings. Through this process, a family can often find new answers to problems or new ways of resolving conflicts.
Some typical scenarios addressed by elder mediators include:
• Should the older parent stay at home with help, move in with one of the children, or move to assisted living?
• If one sibling does all of the work of caring for a parent, or if the parent moves in with the sibling, how should the sibling be compensated? What is fair?
• In family situations where there is conflict, parents often have a tendency to tell each child what the child wants to hear, in order to keep peace and reduce tensions. Addressing the issues in a non-threatening way with the help of an experienced mediator can clear the air and lead to long-term family harmony.
Ms. MacDonald’s practice is limited to Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration. Ms. MacDonald maintains her practice in the Santa Clarita Valley at 25115 Avenue Stanford, Suite A-209 in Valencia, California. She can be reached at 661-294-6464.
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