When it comes to working together to ensure the needs of aging parents are met, even the closest of siblings may find themselves at odds. Stress levels and emotions are, of course, running high. Add to that your past family dynamics, which commonly resurfaces during stressful times, and it’s easy to see how family conflict while caring for senior parents can arise.
Some of the most prevalent aspects of contention among siblings are money matters, varying viewpoints on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an inequitable balance of tasks pertaining to caregiving, just to name a few.
Occasionally, no matter how hard you try, you and your siblings are just unable to reach an agreement on exactly how to best provide care for aging parents. An impasse similar to this is actually quite typical, frequently stemming from past, unresolved conflicts and challenging family dynamics. However, there is a remedy many families are not aware of that may be extremely helpful: enlisting the help of an elder mediator.
A specialist experienced in conflict resolution, an elder mediator brings an unbiased, third-party voice to family meetings. He or she can help defuse increased emotions and outbursts and steer the discussion in ways that bring about a result that all parties can accept.
Elder mediator Susanne Terry explains, “Most of the time siblings want what’s best for the parents. They just look at it in a different way. Our goal is to help them figure out what their common interests are, so they can work together to find solutions.”
Different from family therapy, which helps families work through problems gradually over an extended time period, elder mediation is a targeted, compacted method that usually results in an agreeable outcome in just a handful of sessions.
Elder mediators allow siblings the opportunity to both provide input and listen respectfully to one another. The goal is not only to determine the best outcome for the senior parents, but to help siblings maintain healthy relationships with one another along the way.
When searching for elder mediation options, there are lots of questions you should ask:
To identify an elder mediator in your community, visit APFM’s mediator directory. Once you and your siblings agree on the most effective path forward in caring for your aging parents, reach out to Amy’s Helping Hands. We’ll be pleased to provide a free in-home consultation for home care in Windsor, Ontario and throughout the surrounding areas. We are available 24/7 at 519-915-4370.