As our loved ones age, there may come a time when important decisions must be made for them. This can sometimes lead to disputes among family members who believe that their solutions are the best course of action. When this happens, elder mediation may help keep the dispute out of the court system, saving the family time, money and aggravation. It may also prevent strained family relationships from undergoing further irreparable damage and help keep the family intact. The role of a professional mediator is not to act as a decision maker, but rather as a skilled and sensitive facilitator who will make sure all interested parties have their say.
Some of the most common issues resolved through elder mediation include:
Living Arrangement Questions
Where will the parent live; in his or her home, a nursing home, or with another relative?
Will outside assistance, such as a nurse or Hospice be required, or is there a relative who has the time and resources to care for the parent? What plans are in place for short-term or long-term care?
How will the parent’s financial resources be managed? Should a trustee be appointed or will Power of Attorney be given to a family member? Does the parent have sufficient resources to cover necessary living and medical expenses?
Who will be in charge of making healthcare decisions for the parent? Is the parent covered by insurance or enrolled in Medicaid? Who will be responsible for ensuring the parent receives medication and other ongoing medical attention? Does the parent have a living will?
Issues of Independence
Should the parent be allowed to drive? Is he or she capable of being left alone for any period of time? Will the parent be able to cook or perform tasks around the home? Will a guardian be necessary?
Estate Planning Questions
How will the parent’s personal and financial assets be distributed? Have funeral arrangements been made for the parent? Who will be responsible for paying for these costs?
Parties in elder mediation often bring their past relationships, family histories, and their personal financial concerns to the table with them. This can often cloud judgment and derail communication, if the process is not handled with care and consideration. That is why it is important to find a professional mediator who has the proper training and expertise required to facilitate the best outcome possible.
Jacksonville Family Mediation offers the only elder mediation in the North Florida area. We currently serve Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns County. If you would like to learn more about our services, qualifications and/or fees, please contact us today.