Elder Decisions

As a larger and larger percentage of our population ages and lives longer, elders and their families encounter difficult decisions for their care.

Sometimes making such decisions can cause conflict within the elder’s family members: between the elder and his or her children, among the siblings, their spouses and even extended family and friends. There may be a recent crisis or illness in the family, or perhaps long-standing conflicts among adult family members, which can erupt when families are in the midst of helping an elder make important decisions. Balancing the wants and needs of an elder in your family with the concerns of other family members can be very trying.

We can assist your family with such conflicts by mediating and facilitating family meetings.

We typically co-mediate family meetings after significant preparation with the elder family member (if possible), other relevant family members, and outside professionals such as doctors, geriatric social workers and case managers, home care aides, attorneys, financial planners, etc. Our goal is to help you improve communication and bring the family to satisfactory resolutions in a compassionate and informal setting.

Such issues may include:

  • Disputes among siblings regarding an elder’s: health, daily care, insurance, housing, assets, debts or payment of bills
  • Estate planning and medical treatment decisions
  • Decisions regarding whether to sell a primary or vacation home
  • Inheritance disputes, including the disposition of specific assets
  • Guardianship and alternatives to guardianship

Elder Mediation can help families:

  • Break down the issues to be decided into manageable, organized pieces
  • Identify what is really important to each family member, to understand what often lies beneath the positions and emotions
  • Brainstorm options to meet each family member’s goals in an open manner with a facilitator to guide the process
  • Incorporate important information gathered from medical, legal and financial experts into the family’s decisions
  • Memorialize agreements into written documents if necessary or requested

“Your calm, thoughtful way of handling our discussions, and especially our disagreements, kept us on track. You told us that we would stay focused on what was most important to us, and through it all, we somehow did.“
E. L.