In a previous blog we talked about finding a lawyer whose specialty is Elder Law. Here Gale and Katie, our guest bloggers share an a suggestion for helping families work out difficulties using mediation.
***As seen in the Richmond Times Dispatch on Sunday, June 3, 2012.***
Care giving often has a way of revealing many of life’s intimate conflicts, leaving families struggling to answer questions including: Where will mom live now? Who will be there to assist her? Who will make health and financial decisions for her if she can’t make them on her own? Who will pay for her care? What about her will and estate?
These kinds of questions can shed light on years of unattended and estranged relationships while challenging family members to create workable and mutually acceptable solutions to collectively care for their loved one.
Here are some options to consider as your family works to “share the care:”
- Hold a family meeting to discuss available options. Come to the meeting with goals and plans for taking incremental steps.
- Talk often, meet soon and learn to develop an understanding that enriches your mutual care-giving experiences.
- If the tension among the family members is too great, seek a trained mediator. Family mediation provides a neutral facilitator to help identify and develop solutions. Mediation is being used by an increasing number of families caring for aging family members.
If mediation seems like the right option for your family, here are some things to keep in mind:
It is ideal for the older adults to participate in the mediation if they are able. If they are not able to be an active and responsible participant, an advocate or legal surrogate may represent their needs.
Although it is best if all parties can participate face-to-face around a table, sometimes that is not possible. The mediator will typically facilitate the conversation so that anyone available via phone is included.
Mediation services are typically paid on an hourly basis.
For more information about working together as a family to care for an aging adult, visit liftcaregiving.com.
Gale Davis is a geriatric care manager with VCU Medical Center, and Katie Gilstrap is co-founder of Lift Caregiving.
This information was brought to you by Stanton Lawson, the Co-Owner of Sequoia Senior Solutions. Sequoia’s mission is to ensure a better quality of life for their elderly clients and their families, by providing dependable and affordable in-home care. Sequoia’s focus is to keep you or your loved ones at home and avoid:
- Loss of friends and possessions
- Loss of independence and freedom
- Loss of spirit which is drained by the battles of daily living
Sequoia Senior Solutions, Inc. serves Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Solano, Mendocino, Lake Counties. The main office is located at191 Lynch Creek Way, Suite 102, Petaluma, CA 94954. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (707) 763-6600 Fax: (707) 763-6607, www.sequoiaseniorsolutions.com.