Resolving Elder Care Issues Through Mediation
The inevitable course of the aging process often raises a host of emotionally charged issues. These issues have the potential to trigger divisive family disputes no matter how well-intentioned family members may be.
The list of potential issues is a long one — whether to live alone and independently; when and where to move; ﬁnancial management; and, of course, medical treatment decisions, including end-of-life care issues. The list goes on. Often decisions must be made under stressful, time-pressured conditions, and families can easily be torn apart when disagreements arise.
Mediation can be an effective means of resolving age-related issues without causing undue strain within the family. A mediator is an objective third-party professional trained to facilitate the peaceful resolution of difﬁcult and sensitive issues. Mediation sessions are private, conﬁdential and completely voluntary. Everyone gets a chance to express their interests and concerns in a calm setting.
The mediator doesn’t make decisions or take any actions. Rather, the mediator facilitates the decision-making of others by providing them a forum in which they can communicate, stay focused on the issues, and work out the best possible solutions for their loved ones, with a minimum of emotional conﬂict.
Jeff Lerner, certified Texas mediator