For years, there have been many who settle their divorces quietly and easily, without the stresses and costs of the courts. They manage to have civil conversations with the ‘ex’ about the children, while changing the pick-up time is a simple phone call. Their teenagers barely sulk. The secret to their success – mediation.
Mediation brings disputing parents together to find a solution that works for both of them. Its flexible and creative approach allows parents to focus on the well being of their children. The goal is a win-win solution, in which both parties are happy and better equipped to cope with future conflict.
These savvies are now using elder mediation to help make the tough decisions that come along with aging. Using the same philosophy of working together, families discuss inheritance and estate planning, how to balance the safety and independence of the elder parent (i.e. when to give up the car keys), and make key decisions on general living arrangements and care options.
This practice is giving a voice back to the older parent; the family hear the wishes of the older adult. The mediator encourages siblings to work together to find the best solution for all involved and helps focus the family away from old rivalries and wounds. The result is an agreement that is tailored to the family’s unique situation, keeps the family away from time-consuming and expensive legal battles and promotes a more collaborative approach to future decision-making. Mediators who specialize in elder issues are perfect for helping families solve their disputes and preserve these important family ties.
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