KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Elder Mediation Emerges As Tool To Help Families Make Decisions About Aging Parents

AARP Bulletin: This article tells the story of the Bayliss family. Four sisters found themselves "at an impasse" regarding how to care for their 83-year-old mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and experiencing other physical challenges. "The family turned to elder mediation. In this fast-growing field, a trained, neutral conflict-resolution professional-sometimes an attorney or therapist-meets with adult siblings and, if they're alive and able, their parents, to sort out contentious or unresolved issues relating to Mom and Dad. 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." The mediator can address family dissension that "may revolve around any number of issues," including money; medical and end-of-life choices; independence and safety; and living arrangements or caregiving (Abrahms, 9/20). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.