It’s absolutely amazing to see how quickly family relationships change when you’re forced to deal with the care of elderly parents or inheritance issues after their death. In fact, it’s these things that can literally break families apart and foster some of the nastiest animosity you’ve ever seen.
Today, it’s not unusual to hear about adult children suing one another over the issuance of Social Security checks. Or to learn about a caregiving adult child refusing to allow other siblings to see their own mother, for fear the siblings will take advantage of her mental state. Unfortunately, due to all the bad feelings and chaos, what the elder person wants and needs is often neglected.
Many families find it almost impossible to communicate with one another, but this is especially true when it involves the care of their elderly parents and their finances. Adult children all have a unique bond with their parents, leaving each to form some kind of responsibility or obligation to care for them. When there are disagreements between siblings about how that care should be carried out, or how much money it will require to provide that care, suspicions often grow and arguments arise. This can even occur between parents and adult children, especially when parents don’t want to give up their independence. It’s times like these when elder mediation often comes in handy.
When mediation is needed, a third party with neutrality comes in to the picture. This party is charged with the job of sitting down and listening to all sides of the story, evaluating the situation and coming up with a solution that is amicable to all parties involved. In essence, the mediator comes in and tries to correct the problems that have caused the disagreement, then comes up with a new solution that everyone can agree with.
Elder mediation is a relatively new field, but one that is growing rapidly. Millions of baby boomers are facing difficult decisions with their own parents today. With the growing costs of healthcare and nursing home fees, added to the higher number of adult children forced to take on the role of caregiver, the stress for family members is higher than ever.
Elder mediation can provide you with an efficient solution to the complicated decision process of caring for elderly parents. It’s often the best solution to litigation, which can be costly and alter family relationships permanently. In fact, elder mediation can actually help to strengthen your family ties by allowing all members of the family to take part in the decision making process.
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