Caregiving With Your Siblings: Working With a Mediator

Siblings discussing care options with a caregiver

Caregiving with your siblings can often be complicated, and working with a mediator can help keep things civil.

When you’re caregiving with your siblings to make sure the needs of your aging parents are satisfied, even the closest brothers and sisters can find themselves in disagreement. Stress levels and emotions are, of course, running high. Add to that your past family history and dynamics, which have a tendency to resurface during the course of challenging times, and it’s not hard to see how troublesome this stage in life can be for each of you.  

The most frequent aspects of contention among siblings consist of monetary decisions, differing viewpoints on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an unfair balance of responsibilities pertaining to caregiving, just to note a few. 

In some cases, regardless of how hard you try, you and your brothers and sisters are just not able to come to an understanding on precisely how to best provide care for your aging parents. An impasse similar to this is quite common, often stemming from complex family dynamics and unresolved disagreements. However, there is a solution many families are not aware of that may be incredibly helpful: enlisting the help of an elder mediator.  

A professional skilled in conflict resolution, an elder mediator brings an impartial, third-party voice to family discussions. They can help calm heightened emotions and outbursts and guide the dialogue in a way that leads to an outcome that all parties can accept. 

Elder mediator Susanne Terry explains, “Most of the time siblings want what’s best for the parents. They just look at it in a different way. Our goal is to help them figure out what their common interests are, so they can work together to find solutions.” 

Unlike family therapy, which helps families sort out problems step by step over a lengthy period of time, elder mediation is a targeted, compacted method that commonly results in an agreeable outcome in just a handful of sessions.  

Elder mediators give siblings the opportunity to both offer input and listen respectfully to one another. The purpose is not only to try to find the very best outcome for the senior parents, but to help siblings preserve healthy relationships with one another in the process. 

When researching elder mediation solutions, there are a number of questions you should ask: 

  • Are you a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) or other professional associations? 
  • What are your fees? 
  • What amount of experience do you have in our particular situation? 
  • What is your education, training, and background? 

To find an elder mediator in your community, visit APFM’s mediator directory. Once you and your siblings determine the best path forward in taking care of your aging parents, give Advanced Home Health Care, the leading home care company in Burlington, Fort Madison, Keokuk, and the nearby areas, a call. We will be happy to provide a free in-home assessment to talk about how we can help ensure all their care needs are met. You can reach us any time at 800.791.7785. 

The Care You Need. The Quality You Deserve.