As the baby boomer generation ages, more and more adult children are faced with the situation of aging parents. Who will take care of them and how can the cost of caring for them be divided among the adult children? This is especially challenging since the grown children often have families of their own and may have different incomes and job securities. That’s when San Diego eldercare mediation can help.
What is Elder Care Mediation?
Eldercare mediation is a private, confidential, and voluntary meeting where family members can come together to discuss issues regarding aging family members. The primary purpose of a mediator is to:
1) Provide a safe space for people to meet and discuss their concerns.
2) Use their skills in conflict resolution to promote productive discussions.
For the most part, it is better to resolve the issue surrounding eldercare earlier rather than later. When unregulated, one member of the family may end up carrying the financial and emotional burden of eldercare. In time, they may experience “caregiver burnout”. The situation gets even more complicated if the aging parents develop medical or mental issues.
The Cost of Elder Care
The discussion of eldercare will almost always come down to finances. Who will pay for the parents’ upkeep? If the aging parents have an estate, who will inherit the assets? Can some of these assets be used to compensate the caregiver? It can be difficult to talk about the cost of caring for aging parents and how the financial burden can be shared. Eldercare mediation can help mitigate this sensitive issue and bring everyone’s concerns to light. If necessary, a medical expert, a financial planner, or a CPA may be invited to the mediation sessions to provide expert advice.
Assisted Living Facility
Adult children may decide what to do with their aging parents, but it’s important to understand that the parents themselves have thoughts too. Sometimes, the adult children deem it best for the elder family member to move into an assisted living facility, yet the aging parent refuses to go. Here, a mediator can help bring the entire family together for a productive and meaningful discussion that leads to a resolution that is satisfactory for the aging parent and the grown children.
It’s no secret that aging parents hold the key to an estate that they will leave behind when they die. Most adult children do not know how their parents intend to distribute the wealth. Because of the sensitive nature of the topic, adult children are forced into a game of “wait and see”. Instead of leaving it to chance, it might be useful to recruit the help of an eldercare mediator who can manage the sensitive topic of inheritance. Using their skills as a mediator, they can encourage a discussion so the wishes of the parents are honored and the needs of the grown children are recognized.
Indeed, a safe space is needed so people can talk without being judge or made to feel guilty. Contact Scott Levin for San Diego Elder Care Mediation Services.