Professional Mediation Eases Family Stress
A family of four siblings had met with an elder law attorney to discuss a long range estate plan for their mother. The parent was widowed, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her mid-60’s, and resided in a private pay assisted-living facility. The siblings lived in close proximity to the facility and visited their mother regularly. They all loved their mother. However, each sibling had their own opinion of how their mother should be cared for. Their differences were creating conflict. The mother was picking up their stress and tension during their visits. The siblings were stuck and couldn’t agree on a plan going forward. So, the elder law attorney recommended the family arrange a meeting with a Sanders & Warren care manager to assist them in developing a long range care plan.
The care manager conducted an assessment visit with their mother at her facility. She also met individually with each sibling to discuss their ideas for a care plan. She then wrote an assessment which included a summary of each sibling’s care plan wishes along with the care managers’ own recommendations. The assessment was reviewed by the siblings and discussed in a joint, mediated meeting. Ultimately, the family agreed upon the care manager’s recommendations for the current and long range plan. The mediation was successful due to:
The care manager met together with all four adult children and encouraged each of them to express their opinions about how and where each envisioned their mother’s care would be provided. The care manager affirmed the family by acknowledging they all wanted what was best for their mother and worked to insure that each person's opinions and wishes were heard.
- All siblings felt that their suggestions were heard and considered.
- A detailed report (over 25 pages) offered a realistic and unbiased assessment of their mother. It noted her social, emotional, medical, cognitive, and financial condition and needs. They knew that all of these aspects needed to be taken into consideration in creating a comprehensive care plan for their mother. All agreed they would follow the care manager’s recommendations.