What Is an Elder Care Mediator?

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What Is an Elder Care Mediator?
What is an elder care mediator?  In the simplest of terms, an elder care mediator is a professional who can help settle disputes between siblings and other relatives when a parent or grandparent requires care. 

What An Elder Care Mediator Does and Doesn’t Do

An elder care mediator can help: 
  • Families reach decisions that seem fair for all parties
  • Preserve relationships within the family
  • Make it easier for parents to receive the best care possible
  • Family members avoid litigation

What not to expect from a mediator:

A mediator won’t make decisions for you or your family. Instead, they will listen and help the concerned parties discuss the issues with civility and hopefully reach a conclusion that all parties can agree to try. 

What Happens During Mediation? 

A mediator will help family members discuss the issues. This may be an emotionally charged discussion. That’s okay. These are difficult topics.

An elder law attorney, financial planner, and geriatric manager may also attend mediation to help offer important facts and insight. 

At the end of meeting, the mediator may help draw up a settlement agreement. This is not a legally binding document. It is a set of guidelines for all family members to follow. 

Issues an Elder Care Mediator Can Help You Discuss

Described by AARP as a “new solution to an old problem”, an elder care mediator can help siblings settle disputes involving:
  • Money and financial matters (Should siblings be paid for caring for an aging parent? Who controls the money?) 
  • Decisions involving the aging parent’s abilities and freedoms (Should the parent drive anymore? Should they move to assisted living?) 
  • Caregiving concerns and support (Who should bear the responsibility of caring for the parent? How should caregiving duties be split?)
  •  End-of-life and healthcare decisions (What is the best type of care for a parent that most closely honors their wishes?)
An elder care mediator can also discuss matters concerning inheritance, geography, and the role-reversal emotions adult children sometimes face when tasked with caring for an aging parent. 

Benefits of Elder Care Mediation

Mediation is often less costly than litigation. It can also help preserve family relationships. And a mediator may be the next best thing to a counselor for adult children struggling with a variety of conflicting feelings. 

Do You Need an Elder Care Mediator? 

If you find yourself at an impasse with your siblings or if debates about caring for your Mom or Dad are tearing your family apart, it could be time to consider mediation. 

An elder law mediator may be the last-ditch effort before litigation, especially when disputes involve financial matters. But if the elder care mediator shows up earlier in the game, the mediator may help create a more peaceful journey as you travel the road of caring for aging parents. 

Find out more about elder care mediation and other caregiver solutions in Five Star’s valuable Resources for Families section of our website.