Unfortunately, the blessings of a long life can also be accompanied by disharmony within a family over issues of health, nursing home placement and proper care of an elder person. The children may have different views from their parents, or siblings may argue with each over whether their dad should be in a facility or cared for at home. A mother can feel that her children are forcing her out of her home for no reason and that decisions are being made for her without her input.
Eldercare family disputes are well suited to resolution through mediation. The mediation process provides a forum for all interested parties to speak in a safe environment: the elder person, a caregiver or some other person who is there to help the elder person feel comfortable in the process, and the children. It can also include other relatives or friends who are supportive of those who are important to the decision making process. A trained mediator can insure that all voices are heard and understood by the other parties. The mediator may help the parties brainstorm a resolution, but the emphasis on this type of mediation is to improve communication among the various parties.
The mediator will work with the parties in conflict to help them change the quality of their interaction from negative and destructive to positive and constructive as they explore and discuss the issues they want to discuss along with possibilities for resolution. The mediator is there to support each party’s deliberation and efforts to understand the other’s perspective without encouraging any party to adopt any particular point of view or resolution.