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How do I find a mediator to talk with elderly mother and family?

My mother is 90 years old and still lives alone, in a home with stairs and she is adament she is not leaving her home. At this time she can hardly get up and down the stairs just to go to Doctor appt's. She has 2 days of help from a Catholic Charity, for only 2 hours a day. She is constanly falling and calling her son who drives 30 minutes to pick her up. Her son has health and walking issues of his own and he cannot lift her from the floor anymore and had to call for help on her last fall. These falls started over a year ago, but she will not discuss, assisted living or nursing home care. She has the help button to press, but won't use because the firemen come and usually take her to the hospital as they feel they cannot leave her there alone. She is very stubborn, her brain is intact but her body is falling apart and we cannot continue on this way, which has already gone on way too long. I live out of town, so my brother is taking all this on himself and he needs to be relieved of his constant worrying about her at home alone. Who or where do I find someone from outside the family, a mediator, to talk to her, make her understand we are doing this for her best interest, as she feels we are mean, don't love her and taking her house away from her. I read the articles, How to talk to mother, how to do this and that, but there is no way of having a calm conversation with her. She always has been a yeller and taught her children the same, so there is never a calm discussion. I assume there is legal action that could be taken, but don't want to go down that road and need to find a way to get her to realize it is time to leave the house that she can no longer take care of or safely live in.

Status: Open    Jun 30, 2016 - 06:55 AM

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Expert Answers

Jul 13, 2016 - 09:26 AM

First of all, my thoughts go out to you and your family. This is not an easy situation to deal with and it sounds like you and your brother have done the best you can thus far. If you have not considered hiring an Aging Life Care Professional (formerly known as Geriatric Care Managers), I highly recommend that you do. That person can not only step in and provide the mediation that your family needs, but can also assess your mother's housing situation and general health and provide recommendations. If nothing else, the Aging Life Care Professional can be a third party advisor for your family. Best of luck to you!


Jul 13, 2016 - 02:29 PM

A mediator can definitely help you have a calm and productive conversation with your mother and brother, and there are elder mediators who are specifically trained in the complex issues of health, finances, home and family relationships. Rather than talk to your mother, a facilitative mediator will provide a calm place and process to help you have these conversations together. You'll be guided in discussing difficult topics, and in making decisions and agreements that work for your mother's needs and wants, taking into account your and your brother's concerns. Look for someone who does online mediation as well, so that you can 'attend' the mediation. A good place to search for a mediator in your area is at, where you'll find great information about the process and can search for elder mediators by location and specialty. There may also be a professional mediation association in your state with listings. All the best to you in this difficult time.


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