Making decisions about the care an elder or disabled family member will receive as he or she ages is a daunting task for all involved. In many families, conflicts ignite as family members are faced with making these difficult and often emotional decisions. Differing opinions about the best and most cost-effective long-term care plan can lead to tension within the family, arguments, and worst of all, failure to deliver the services that could maximize the elder's comfort and quality of life.
When this situation arises, elders and their families may need help not only in planning the elder's long-term care but in resolving their conflicts. Rather than allowing relationships to deteriorate or seeking resolution through costly, uncertain, and drawn-out court battles, families facing this situation should consider seeking the help of an Elder Care Mediator.
Elder Care Mediation is a method of resolving conflicts that uses a trained professional to move the parties involved from dispute to consensus. Elder Care Mediators specialize in working with families and older adults who are in conflict over issues related to aging or disability such as health care decisions, living arrangements, use of financial resources, and inheritance. Some advantages of using an Elder Care Mediator include:
- The process is personal, private, informal, and can occur in any location.- The family creates its own solutions and maintains self-determination rather than letting a judge rule their lives.- Participants avoid adversarial litigation that is stressful and emotionally damaging. - The family saves money by avoiding expensive court proceedings.- By finding win-win solutions, all participants leave feeling satisfied.- Valued relationships can be preserved.
While some states require certification for a specific type of mediator, mediation is a largely unregulated industry. Many professionals who practice as mediators are licensed in another professional capacity such as attorneys, social workers, counselors, or care managers. At Elder Law of East Tennessee, Elder Law attorney Amelia Crotwell has undergone extensive training as required by the Tennessee Supreme Court to become a Rule 31 Listed Family Mediator. She has also accrued twelve years of experience handling elder care matters and has earned nationally and state recognized certifications in Elder Law.