The Why and How of Elder Care Mediation

Elder care mediators have a specialized process knowledge base and understanding of the life changing issues faced by elders and their families. They assist in navigating the uncertain path created by unplanned changes in the physical, emotional, and relational well being of parents.

With the deliberate implementation of conflict resolution tools and mediation methods such as evaluative, facilitative, transformative and narrative approaches there is a safe environment for all stake-holders including the elder. Elder mediator guidance facilitates families efforts in finding the best quality of life decisions for an elder and their family with the overall goal of integrating new relationship dynamics through the conflict resolution process.

Changes in Health Alter Family Dynamics

A debilitating physical change in a parent that has long been the pillar of strength in a family creates many needs and emotional dynamics among family members. The development of perceptions about the distribution of family support can create conflict within the family unit making necessary communication’s strained and possibly leading to relationship deterioration.

The cognitive changes related to age may also come to impact the daily household management. The ability to manage finances effectively and safely become of concern in concert with the vulnerability created by the loss of the physical ability. How to approach dealing with this can be source of serious conflict among family members that significantly alters relationships and hampers the ability of the family to respond to the immediate needs of the elder.

How does a family navigate these difficult places?

Future-Focused

Elder mediation is future focused and is a mechanism for elders and families to address finances, joint responsibility and decision making, medical care, end-of-life decisions, guardianship, property maintenance, personal privileges to name a few.

Elder care mediator’s are focused on serving the elders and the families through offering a process that creates a safe space for an often difficult dialogue.

Photo: kenleyneufeld

About the Author: Kim Bunker RN BSN & Registered Mediator in Georgia is President and CNO of Southern Cross Mediation and Legal Nurse Consulting.  She is an Elder Issues Mediator and is available for consultation and questions at kimbunker@gmail.com or on Skype with the ID Kim Bunker.