Many families struggle with decisions surrounding the care of aging relatives. Adult children may feel their parent(s) should be in an assisted living facility (ALF) or nursing home, while the parent(s) in question want nothing to do with it. Or, the care of a spouse/partner is getting to be too much for the caregiving spouse/partner and the person requiring the care may feel abandoned by the suggestion of a different arrangement.
Difficult conversations about changing care needs, aging-related or health-related adjustments to housing arrangements, expectations around caregiving and the needs of both caregivers and care-receivers require a thoughtful and respectful approach.
With an unlimited range of configurations of (medical, financial, social, legal) considerations, values, needs, and family dynamics, coming to a consensus about the best solution(s) can be an overwhelming task for many families. Family members going through this process report feeling confused, stressed, angry, fearful, conflicted, stuck, at the end of their rope.
A specialist in guiding these conversations -and inevitably- negotiations, through a process called Eldercare mediation, can help maintain or restore harmonious relationships while providing the clarity required to achieve the best solutions for our loved-ones.
What is Eldercare Mediation?
Eldercare Mediation is a process of conversation and negotiation between an elder or elderly couple and their family, healthcare provider(s) or among adult children, with the goal of coming to a mutually agreed upon solution to an identified problem or need. Specific to the mediation process is the presence of a mediator who is a certified, trained and neutral facilitator with extensive knowledge of both the process of mediation and the field of elder care.
Why hire a Mediator?
As our population is aging, many elderly and their families find themselves faced with a myriad of choices regarding healthcare decisions, living arrangements, financial concerns and legal matters both in the present and the future.
While there is generally no shortage of expert advice from physicians, therapists, social workers, lawyers and financial planners, integrating this information in an action plan that optimally honors the needs and wishes of all parties involved –typically the primary client(s) and their family- can seem a Herculean task. Achieving an optimal outcome usually requires a well-designed process of negotiation.
Particularly, when family members are geographically spread-out with busy lives, it can be a challenge to come to a comprehensive plan or solution that everyone can sign off on and that provides the peace of mind of having achieved the best solution possible.
Why hire Dr. Raymond Ferrier as your Eldercare mediator?
With extensive experience in geriatric-orthopedic physical therapy in the home-setting, Raymond has assisted hundreds of families in making decisions regarding safe living spaces and arrangements and projections of future (health) care needs based on current functional abilities and health status.
His knowledge and experience working with senior clients has honed his sensitivity to the specific physical, emotional and communication needs of seniors, particularly in the context of altered or decreased functional abilities.
Trained as a sociologist he understands and is particularly focused on analyzing the cultural context that his clients live in. This allows him to look for solutions that fit each family’s unique culture best.
As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and experienced conflict and communication coach, Raymond can effectively address the inevitable family dynamics that often make these decisions so hard for families to deal with.
Raymond will gladly conduct initial or ongoing mediations online or on the phone so that frequent travel of family members or caregivers can be minimized. If preferred, he will come to the client’s home which will allow for a home assessment, if so desired. Of course, clients are always welcome to conduct sessions in his office in Sarasota, Florida.