Florida’s aging population is facing important life decisions. Whether older residents are making provisions for their will execution or deciding whether to enter an assisted care facility, they may feel overwhelmed by the options. Even worse, family members can often become combative when attempting to make decisions for their loved ones. If you and your relatives are unable to peaceably solve your end-of-life care problems, consider working with a legal team that includes a mediator.

Mediation firms have been working with attorneys for years in South Florida, but most of the cases have been limited to child custody or divorce-related proceedings. Now, a new breed of the professionals has sprung up to help family members negotiate the finer points of elder care. Many senior Floridians are not familiar with the mediation process, so they never consider adding a mediator to their existing legal teams. Now, though, mediators who specialize in elder care issues are gaining traction in the local population, largely because of their innovative conflict-resolution techniques.

Mediation can occur anywhere. In many cases, family members are able to gather together, but most mediators can also work through Skype and other tech-based platforms if relatives do not live nearby. Many of the problems surrounding elder care relate to guardianships, which resemble child custody disputes. Now, these mediation professionals are able to introduce the topics during the meetings, which can be considered safe spaces for discussion.

Mediators and attorneys agree that many family members experience legal difficulty because they do not communicate well. Adult children are often afraid of causing emotional distress for their parents, while older adults might feel like they are imposing by bringing up elder care issues. Some family members fear that their older relatives are ailing, but they are unable to assist without the legal infrastructure in place.

Families from all walks of life can benefit from the services of a legal team that includes a mediator. Get the communication assistance you need to provide the best care and future for your elderly relative.

Luis E. Barreto