Although this blog is primarily focused on divorce mediation, I occasionally discuss other family related issues and today I want to discuss family mediation and our elderly relatives.
As you watch your loved ones grow older you should try to discuss with them their plans in the event they can no longer care for themselves without assistance. This discussion can at times be very difficult either because you and other caring relatives find it hard to discuss end of life issues with your elderly relatives or your elderly relatives don’t want to acknowledge or don’t realize that they may need assistance. Sometimes the discussion is difficult because elderly parents don’t want to appear to favor one child over the other and want all their children present for the discussion.
How do you know when it is time to have this discussion? Having just spent time with your family for the holidays, you may have noticed some of the signs that should have alerted you that your elderly relatives, your parents, aunts, uncles, etc. may need some additional care. Some of these signs include piles of correspondence, bills, etc. that have not been attended to, lack of attention to personal hygiene and/or lack of cleanliness in their home.
Elder mediation is the process where all interested family members and the elders concerned meet with a mediator who facilitates the discussion. Having a professional mediator involved will lessen the stress and tension among those present. Depending on the specifics of the situation, the mediator may suggest that a geriatric care manager and/or an elder law attorney participate in the mediation as well. The discussion can include medical issues, legal issues, your loved ones’ living situation, the plan for your loved ones’ futures and any other concerns.
Having just been home for the holidays, please look back at your time with your family and ask yourself if now is the time to become involved. If the answer is yes, please reach out to me to discuss how I can help your family.
My best wishes to all my readers for a happy and healthy New Year.