Families don’t always agree on care giving issues for older adults. A trained, impartial, and compassionate adviser may be just what a family needs – before arguments start.
Enter elder care mediators, professionals experienced in conflict resolution. Often they’re attorneys, social workers, psychologists, or counselors. Mediators talk family members through difficult situations and misunderstandings, and help brainstorm solutions. As a neutral third party, mediators can advocate for both elderly adults and caregivers when the tough decisions come around. The mediator does not provide advice or “take sides” but facilitates dialogue, with the goal of keeping the family together.
Interested in hiring an elder care mediator? Contact your local area aging agency, or search for qualified mediators through Mediate or the National Association for Community Mediation. There are also organizations which focus on mediation and elder care.
Since elder care mediation is still a fairly new profession, the industry is loosely regulated. Although most mediators have formal qualifications, they may not need to meet rigid requirements. Search carefully and interview prospective candidates thoughtfully. Ask about training, experience, and goals. Check their references.
Once you’ve selected someone you’re comfortable working with, you can begin meetings. The proceedings are confidential and voluntary. Mediators tackle topics like finances, caregiver burnout, residence options and more. Find someone who will keep the interests of the elderly adult, the caregiver, and the family in mind.