Peaceful Divorce

I recently attended a conference for The Academy of Professional Family Mediators in Memphis, Tennessee. One of the workshops I participated in was on elder care mediation, which gave some fascinating insights. A 2001 study, done by Debra B. Gentry, showed nearly 40% of adult children providing care for their parents reported serious conflict with siblings, usually related to a lack of sufficient help from those siblings. This study was part of an article entitled Resolving Middle Age Sibling Conflict Regarding Parent Care.

The workshop presenter gave a typical scenario between an elder parent and her children:

Child 1: "Mom should live in a retirement home where she can get help if she needs it."

Child 2: “No way! Mom wants to stay in her house, and if you would help, she'd be able to.”

Mom: "Why can't you two get along? I didn't raise you to argue with family!"

So how can family members make the process of caring for their elderly easier?  

  1. Treat parents as you would like to be treated—return their caring love.
  2. Find a strategy that works for everybody by engaging in healthy conversations—don't argue.
  3. Reach a fair agreement when talking about responsibilities.
  4. Work with elderly parents to come up with the best solutions, while keeping relationships intact.

How can mediation be used as a way to find better solutions to important quality of life questions?

All family members, including parents, should come to an agreement as to the inclusion of other participants in making decisions. These other participants could include the spouses of the children, grandchildren, friends or caregivers of the parents, medical providers, and lawyers.

The kinds of decisions that could be agreed upon could include living arrangements, personal care, driving ability, provisions in case of terminal illness, home upkeep and repairs, financial concerns, nursing home care, estate issues, guardianships, power of attorneys, and so on.

How would a family mediator be of assistance?

  • The mediator is a neutral third party who helps the family with the appropriate processes and can help them reach true consensus on decisions.
  • They can help clear up misunderstandings, by providing for expressions of true feelings, keeping the family on track, and helping family members heal hurt feelings.
  • They can encourage family members to focus on the best interests of their parents and help them evaluate different options if need be.

A mediator will NOT make any decisions for the family, provide family therapy, or practice law while serving as mediator.

Often, adult children get frustrated with their elderly parents. When I had both my parents in assisted living, I made a point every day to visit them. As time went along, this started becoming a burden, so it dropped to every other day, then once a week, ultimately visiting once every 2 weeks. This was because they were looking for interaction, and I wasn't. I soon realized that if I put myself in their position, that's not how I would want to be treated.

Views: 7

Comment

You need to be a member of Peaceful Divorce to add comments!

Join Peaceful Divorce

Become an affiliate of the Happily Divorced! book and audio program! Let Reformed "Killer" Divorce Attorney, Cynthia Tiano, and Dr. Max Vogt, Marriage and Family Psychologist, take you on an adventure into the lives of two families going through the divorce legal system - one doing "legal battle" and the other creating a "peaceful divorce". Learn how to create a Win-Win from their experiences... HappilyDivorced.org


Events

Latest Activity

Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Tax Tips for the Recently Divorced

We are only 10 weeks away from the end of the year. What does that mean for people who have gotten divorced in 2017?It means you have to get ready to file your tax returns for the year ending 2017 by April 16, 2018 (April 15 falls on a Sunday so you can file your return on April 16) or extend it. Remember, just because you extend it, you still have to pay any…See More
Nov 16
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Tax Q&A for Recently Divorced People

Divorce is one of the most painful experiences anyone can go through. In addition to the emotional component, financial issues weigh heavily on the minds of the parties to any divorce. Unfortunately, there are just some things that don’t follow any logic and you just have to know. Here are a few of the most common:  What filing status options do I have if I am separated from my spouse? You may qualify as Head of Household if you and…See More
Oct 25
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

New Models of Mediation

When I got trained in mediation, we were told that you either did solo mediation (one mediator) or co-mediation (two mediators). Since then, divorce professionals have learned that there are endless permutations of effective methods to mediate. In this post, I describe a few of the arrangements I have encountered in the 30 years I have been doing this.Integrated Mediation is…See More
Oct 4

Badge

Loading…

About

© 2017   Created by Cynthia Tiano, Esq..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service