Elder Mediation: A Way Out For Families At War?

Please Share

When Siblings Are Stuck in Disagreement

Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R.N., B.S.N., Attorney

This is a case study of a real situation, though the names and details are changed to protect confidentiality.

Two sisters are arguing and in extended conflict about the care of their mother. One sibling, a middle aged woman we’ll call Nellie, lives at mom’s home with mom, and doesn’t work. She takes care of mom, but not very well. The other sister, whom we’ll call Mary, is worried about Nellie’s unstable mental health, and that she isn’t bathing mom properly or watching her closely enough. Mom has dementia. She’s declining slowly, and can’t be left alone.

Nellie has access to two of mom’s bank accounts, even though she does not have power of attorney over mom.
Nellie is very emotionally unstable.

Mary tried to mediate the conflict with Nellie, and Nellie did appear at mediation. Nellie made all sorts of agreements, such as having a professional caregiver come in several hours a week, to check on mom and help out. Then, she refused to sign the “settlement agreement” document, and went back on her word with everything she said she would do.

Nellie wants money, and isn’t satisfied with mom’s income supporting her. She wants to get paid, too.

Mary has the durable power of attorney for finances. What can Mary do now?

Because Mary has the right to control mom’s finances, she can take Nellie off the bank accounts, except for the amount required for monthly living expenses. If Nellie wants more money, Mary can see to it that she will only receive it if she complies with the things she agreed to do at mediation.

Mary has a legal right to control all the bank accounts, and a duty to protect her mom from Nellie raiding the bank accounts for extras she doesn’t actually need. Nellie spends money on herself from mom’s bank accounts.

If Mary can get over her fear of Nellie, and do what her job as power of attorney requires of her, she will be better off. Mom will be taken care of by someone besides Nellie, and Mary will then have “eyes and ears” in mom’s home to help her keep mom safe. Nellie can continue to help care for mom for as long as she is able to help, but Nellie needs an extra hand with bathing mom, and other chores.

This is an ongoing conflict for which control over the mom’s money is key to keeping things stable. Mary is upset, but is able to do what has to be done. She doesn’t want to upset her sister, who is not stable to start with, but is at least able to provide some help for mom. The compromise is somewhat under duress for Nellie, but is workable, even if Nellie isn’t totally happy with it. Mary is a responsible person, and is on the right track.


© 2009, AgingParents.com
Last Updated ( Monday, 09 November 2009 16:39 )

Tiny URL for this post:
 

Please Share
JUST RELEASED “The Family Guide To Aging Parents”
Stack Of CashCheck out our latest website: AgingInvestor.com click HERE to learn more
FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
Categories
Archives
  • Holidays And Aging Parents: Look For These 5 Red Flags December 8, 2017
    Visits with your aging parents often are a wake-up call this time of year. Perhaps you haven’t seen your loved ones for some time and when you do, it’s startling. Aging can be a gradual process for some but for…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • The Struggle: Taking Over Finances For Your Aging Parent December 6, 2017
    Here is a true story about an older person with cognitive decline who was being manipulated by his live-in girlfriend. His son was not sure of what he could do. Jay is an only child and his dad, Jeremy is…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Could This Happen To Your Aging Parent: Getting Dumped From a Nursing Home? November 7, 2017
    If you have an aging loved one who ever has to go to a nursing home, beware of a nasty practice in which some of these facilities engage. It is disgusting to think that a nursing home will not only…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Natural Disasters and Aging Parents October 12, 2017
    Natural Disasters and Aging Parents Hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and earthquakes have all struck families this year. Sometimes your aging parent or other loved one is displaced and adult children must suddenly take them in. If your family member was in…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief