Question: I would like to know if there are mediators or counselors who could help with serious family issues that have arisen around the care of my 87-year-old mother. She lives at my sister's at present but had been living with me. There are money issues because my mom does not have a lot of resources. My brother, sister, and I have had many serious conflicts as a result of trying to care for my mom.
Dr. Amy: Dealing with siblings on issues of caregiving can be more work and more challenging than actually taking care of your parent ever will be. Unresolved wounds and resentments from long ago can simmer beneath the surface for years and break through when you need to make decisions together.
The good news is that there are counselors out there who specialize in eldercare mediation. They can help you and your brother and sister work through family conflict, improve your relationships, and learn how to work together as a team. There are several websites through which you can search directories of elder care mediators in your area. However, make sure you do your due diligence if you use these websites to find assistance because they have differing standards for allowing someone to list themselves as elder care mediators. Thus you need to check the credentials and experience of anyone you contact. In addition to these websites, your local Area Agency on Aging may be able to refer you to a mediator in your community.
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