As the challenges associated with age become more difficult to address, it sometimes becomes necessary to include family and friends in care giving and support. This in itself presents challenges, with new dynamics to old relationships to be worked out.
These transitions are rarely easy. Thankfully for some people they go well. Unfortunately for others they do not. It is not unusual, especially given the depth and types of feelings involved, for these situations to often become fractious.
At times like this it can be extremely helpful to have a neutral, impartial third party who can facilitate the conversation on behalf of the elderly person.
Elder Mediation has as its core the principles of dignity, respect, enablement and self-determination for the elderly person. For family and friends there are core values of safety, equal voice, confidentiality, voluntary nature and cost-effectiveness.
An elder mediator will provide a communication framework whereby the contentious issues are identified, worked out constructively and the needs of the elder person addressed by a sustainable agreement.
The process can be as formal or informal as required and will not contravene or impact any legal aspect of guardianship or rights of inheritance.
Research shows significant numbers of participants reporting positive experiences and improved relationships.