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With Parents Aging, Squabbling Sibblings Turn to Elder Mediation


In this fast-growing field, a trained, conflict-resolution professional-sometimes an attorney or therapist-meets with adult siblings and, if they're alive and able, their parents. The mediator's job is to defuse the situation and keep the group focused on their common goal: to come up with the best possible outcome for a parent they all love and to preserve family relationships.

It's no surprise that issues involving aging parents offer limitless opportunities for disagreements and all-out fights. As these issues play out, siblings watch a cherished parent decline or deal with loss-and a new industry is born.
Rather than going to court, where a judge calls the shots, mediation is nonbinding and confidential, decisions are made by consensus, and attendance is voluntary. It's also cheaper than litigation: $150 to $500 per hour for several hours for a private mediator's time, or a nominal fee if you work through community mediation centers.


A growing national trend

As the concept of elder mediation gains more exposure, the attitude is likely to change. "In five years, elder mediation will be known in the same way as divorce mediation is today," predicts Arline Kardasis, cofounder of Elder Decisions in Norwood, Mass., which will train 120 elder mediators this year.

Most of our parents did not go through this caregiving and life passage the way we are, because they didn't live as long. Therefore, there's no model," says Francine Russo, author of They're Your Parents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy. "For the first time in history, adult siblings and their parents have to reengage intensively and long-term even though they have not lived in the same household for 30 or 40 years."

Source:Sally Abrahms - AARP Bulletin September 20, 2010
 


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06/21/2017 03:16

It's a common problem nowadays. It's sad because there are children who can easily dump their parents as if they were never loved and cared for when they were younger. Actually, I feel sad whenever I go to orphanage. Because that's an obvious image that there are people who had given up to life's challenges. I promise to myself that no matter how hard will it be to deal with my old parents, I'll forever be with them.

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