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My Mother Doesn’t Listen To Me!
The New Role Of Eldercare Mediation  

By Doris Haas, RN, CCM, CMC
(Page 2 of 3)

Eldercare Mediation deals with any conflicts involving seniors and their families.  Sometimes children argue about their parents’ care.  Sometimes seniors argue with their children.  When the conflict begins to deteriorate relationships, a mediator should be called in.
Why Try Mediation?
Mediation is private and confidential.  Participants can express themselves in a safe situation where the other participants listen.  Mediators keep the focus on the issues so that families can move beyond underlying problems.  Exploration of different options and creative problem solving is encouraged.  They become empowered and design their own agreements.  Older persons participate if able, which gives them maximum control over basic life decisions.  This approach is non-adversarial.
What Kinds Of Issues Can Be Mediated?

1.       Medical/Healthcare decisions
2.       Financial decisions
3.       Living arrangements
4.       Communication issues – sharing of information
5.       Family relationships
6.       Decision-making authority
7.       Respite care and support for caregivers
8.       Personal, household care and maintenance
9.       Safety/risk-taking/autonomy – should autonomy be limited?
10.     Needs of other family members
11.     Less restrictive alternatives to guardianship

How Successful Is Mediation?
In a recent study, 8 out of 10 cases were successfully resolved; 8.5 out of 10 mediated cases were followed through by the parties.  The success rate is so high because the solutions are designed by the parties themselves.  Even if an agreement is not reached, the parties will walk away with clarified issues and a better understanding of each other’s viewpoints.



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