Eldercare Mediation: Resolving Family Discord

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Family conflict can occur if an older person has not planned ahead and becomes disabled. Adult children frequently disagree about the best way to care for an elderly parent, and they may have concerns about finances. Failing to see eye-to-eye on caregiving issues can introduce confusion and contention among family members, and old family “roles” can be revived, sometimes in unhealthy ways. When families are unable to resolve their differences, it can help to bring in an eldercare mediator.

What is Elder Mediation?

Eldercare mediation or elder mediation is a professionally guided process to engage family members in a productive dialogue to achieve agreement around elder care issues. Each mediation session is personalized based on the circumstances.

Eldercare mediation addresses common issues facing seniors and their adult children, including:

  • Driving safety
  • Living arrangements
  • Home support services
  • Financial management
  • Medication use/misuse
  • Alcohol and drug use/misuse
  • Assistive devices: purchase/use/training
  • Advance health care directives
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Diminished mental capacity and functional abilities
  • End of life wishes
  • Leaving a legacy
  • Family cultural and religious differences

How Does It Work?

Elder mediators first meet with the interested parties individually to determine their concerns and viewpoints. They then determine who needs to be “around the table” for the discussion, and then hold one or more sessions where critical issues are addressed and family members come to a shared agreement about how to proceed. The mediator is impartial and does not place the interests of one party in the mediation above other parties. The goal is to agree upon a course of action before a medical crisis forces decision-making under severe stress.

Elder mediation can cost between $175-$375/hour. Family disputes that are not resolved in mediation frequently result in legal battles costing far more in attorney fees.

Finding a Mediator

As you are searching for an elder mediator in the area, ask about the person’s background, approach, confidentiality, certification, and pricing structure. Personality fit is important too. A few questions up front can be a valuable way to learn about your options before engaging in services.

For more information about finding the right resources for your family needs, Windward Life Care is here to assist. Contact us any time for personalized support and guidance in your life care planning. Thank you to Dr. Craig Grether, Ph.D. of Just Solutions, for contributing to this article. He is a clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist and certified mediator in Carlsbad, California.

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Maintaining Healthy Hearing: Prevention and Treatment Options

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Hearing loss is surprisingly common among older adults, with an estimated 33% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 suffering from this problem. Aging can contribute to these issues, as well as genetics, noise, and disease.

Hearing Problems Faced by Older Adults

Poor hearing in older adults isn’t only an inconvenience, but it can have a ripple effect on many aspects of life. When someone is experiencing hearing loss, they find it hard to hold conversations with family and friends. Additionally, hearing loss can increase the risk of depression, isolation, and even dementia.

Sometimes, a person suffering from poor hearing feels embarrassed or frustrated because they can’t understand what other people are saying. Friends and family might mistakenly think that the person is uncooperative, unresponsive, or confused when really the problem is with the person’s hearing.

Is it Time to Get Your Hearing Checked?

When hearing problems are ignored or left untreated, the issues will get worse with time. If you suspect that you have a hearing problem, then it is essential to visit a doctor for expert advice and treatments.

Signs of hearing loss include:

  • Difficulty hearing when talking on the telephone
  • It is hard to follow conversations when two or more people are participating
  • There is often a need to ask people to repeat their comments
  • Turning up the TV or radio to a point where other people complain about the noise
  • Unable to hear due to background noise
  • The perception that other people are mumbling

Technologies to Help with Hearing

The recommended treatment plan will vary depending on the severity and type of hearing loss that you are experiencing. Some treatments will work better than others. Available treatment options include:

  • Hearing Aids: Small, electronic devices worn behind or in your ear, helping to amplify sounds.
  • Assisted Listening Devices: Certain devices can be used to amplify the sounds coming through a cell phone or tablet. Additionally, closed circuit systems can be used in public locations, such as auditoriums, theaters, and more.
  • Cochlear Implants: These implants are placed in the inner ear and are often used when the hearing loss is severe.

Other treatment options include lip-reading training or even medications in some cases. If you need help finding the right medical support for your hearing loss, then our team is here to assist. Contact us at Windward Life Care.

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