Assuring your parent’s comfort and sustaining sibling relationships.
What is Elder Care and Family Mediation?
When responsible parties are unable to effectively reconcile their differences regarding a sick or elderly loved one, elder care dispute mediation is a non-adversarial smooth and effective means to comprehensively coordinate care plans and living arrangements on their behalf. With elder care dispute mediation, the concerned parties meet with me as their impartial mediator, trained and experienced in coordinating such arrangements. I will pay close attention to the needs, concerns and perspectives of all sides and give you guidance to come to agreement amicably. This process helps to ensure that all parties involved, including the loved one, are all treated fairly and with respect and dignity.
Elder care mediation is ideal in situations where responsible parties may disagree or find it difficult to constructively engage in difficult conversations regarding the handling of their loved-one’s affairs, living arrangements, or health care, etc. When your goal is to resolve your elder care/family conflict peacefully and positively and with dignity, and not waste money and time, Elder Care Decisions and Family Mediation is the way to go.
What if we’re not even speaking?
That’s the question I hear most often. “How can mediation work? We don’t speak!”
But that’s just the very reason to come to mediation. The reality is that siblings are in conflict because they aren’t getting along. They are suspicious of each other and there have been issues usually since childhood that have reared their ugly heads now that they need to care for their aging parent. If they were speaking, they wouldn’t need me. The families who I help start off as angry, resentful and very emotional. Seeking a Guardianship appointed by the Court will not resolve the conflicts and will certainly use up your parent’s assets and leave less to benefit the siblings.
The reason to undertake mediation is simple: There’s no gain for anyone to go into litigation no matter how much money is at stake or what the issues are. In fact, the more money there is at stake, the more money will be wasted in court. Mediation is perfect for aging parents with large estates.
Common issues during elder mediation
- Would mom or dad be better off staying at home or moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility?
- How do we resolve the fighting between the siblings over parent’s money?
- Who should be the health care proxy?
- Who should be the representative with the caregivers or physicians?
- How should we divvy up the responsibilities so that not everything falls on the one sibling?
Whatever the case may be, Elder Care and Family Dispute Mediation is a unique and invaluable resolution tool that has been proven highly effective in resolving such disputes, with results that all parties can be satisfied with.
Key benefits of elder care dispute mediation
- Prevent escalation of emotions
- Save tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees
- Save enormous amounts of time
- Get the best help for your aging parent
- Hire ONE professional, rather than multiple adversarial, litigious and expensive attorneys
- Avoid the nightmare and headaches of going to trial
- Avoid litigation
- Avoid the tug-of-war with your beloved parent caught in the crossfire
- Avoid the in-family fighting and tumult
- Collaborate to fairly meet everyone’s needs and interests
- Create a framework to help you work together in the future
Common decision areas for elder care mediation
Personal Care and Healthcare Arrangements
Coordinating medical treatments; payments for treatment; hiring appropriate aids; division of responsibility between the parties.
Decisions over whether the loved one is to remain at home, move in with a child, move to a different city, or be moved to an assisted living facility or nursing home, etc.
Coordinating and dividing up and resolving any necessary financial issues between the siblings and responsibilities between responsible parties, for the care and wellbeing of the loved one.
Trusts & Estates, Wills Issues
Planning division and distribution of assets of loved one, resolving family disputes regarding personal property, resolving business disputes, etc.
Responsibility Over Decision-Making
Power of attorney, legal guardianship, caretaker, etc.
End-of-Life Wishes and Decisions
Funeral planning, living wills, coordinating and executing advanced directives, etc.
Transportation for mom or dad and Safety issues
Decisions over loved one’s ability to drive, any medical tests required (e.g. eye-sight examination), how the love one will get around, if they can use public transportation or not, etc.
Elder care and family mediation FAQs
Why should you mediate elder care and adult family disputes?
Family dynamics are complicated and often involve emotions that have been simmering for years, or sometimes since childhood. Being proactive via the use of mediation, families can positively resolve conflicts rather than further tearing the family apart emotionally and financially. During mediation, each family member will have the opportunity to speak privately with me about their own needs, interests and emotions and the needs and emotions of the others involved. This will create rational decision making, rather than knee jerk emotional decision making, and lead to a more positive outcome for all involved.
How is a mediated agreement different from a litigated agreement?
Mediation allows for cooperation and collaboration on each decision made. Each person’s needs and opinions are heard and discussed, and joint decisions are made. Bottom line, rather than a judge mandating a particular outcome, mediated agreements are based on shared decision-making. I will ensure that the agreement process is cooperative and not adversarial.
Mediated agreements also typically resolve a broad range of topics. In contrast, in Guardianship proceedings, the Judge’s order typically only addresses far narrower issues and dictates to the parties what must be done. These court orders do not consider many of the factors, interests and needs that a mediated agreement would, and that can lead to continued family tensions.
How do I know if my case is appropriate for mediation?
As you educate yourself about the benefits of mediation, you will understand just how well suited and beneficial the mediation process is to resolving almost any conflict, including Elder Decision Disputes between family members.
Should I mediate my family dispute?
Are you having issues with your siblings or other adult members of your family regarding issues related to an elder’s financial responsibilities, capacity to make important decisions, or arrangements regarding daily living and assistance needs? Then mediation is very likely the right process for you. Mediation allows everyone involved to create realistic, logical, workable solutions that create the best plan for the elder, while also preserving family relationships.
When do we start the mediation process?
The best scenario would be to start the mediation process prior to starting a Guardianship Proceeding. However, if you have already begun a court proceeding, it is not too late. You can still enter into mediation. Your family will not only save significant money, time and emotional distress, by going the mediation route, but more significantly, your parent will have the most appropriate care plan created. This way your parent can spend the last part of his/her life comfortably and also knowing that her children were worked things out together. What better gift can you give a parent?
What do I do to start the mediation process?
Just contact me at (516) 314-6116 for a free consultation. I will be happy to discuss your circumstances with you and/or other family members to understand the scope of the issues. Then I will contact each individual family member you identify to obtain basic information and for scheduling purposes.