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How Clients Use Our Services at AgingParents.com

By November 14, 2011No Comments

How Clients Use Our Services at AgingParents.comJtPhoto

Clients come to AgingParents.com for a variety of reasons. Most are adult children of aging loved ones, and some are spouses or caregivers. They are typically in a crisis, or feeling overwhelmed with their issues around the management of aging loved ones, who are changing or becoming problematic.

Frequent issues are how to deal with what the family believes is financial elder abuse, or family conflict around how to best care for an aging loved one. Other issues we often see are disputes over a family member who is not sharing the burden of caring for a parent, or an adult child who also may have competency issues as a caregiver. The elder’s competency is also a frequently seen issue.

Sometimes, the client comes to us because they are so overwhelmed with tasks, decisions and problems with an aging loved one, that they just don’t know where to start. We offer advice to them, either individually, or together, as a nurse-lawyer, psychologist team. We help them develop a strategy to deal with what is going on. We refer to appropriate resources, such as geriatric care managers, facilities, doctors, estate planning attorneys, adult day services, home care providers and others.

We do analysis of the presenting problems, and prioritize them. This usually takes place in the first consultation. We determine whether the matter is legal, healthcare, or mental health in nature, or a combination. We then suggest a course of action for each of the elements presented. We make lists, assign specific suggestions to family members, and sometimes recommend a family conference or another face-to-face meeting to help work through the problems.

If there is a dispute going on, we suggest mediation. This can be with a family and a facility, a family and caregivers, or between and among family members themselves. We arrange the mediation among the participants. We conduct mediations, which are “facilitated discussions”, using our conflict resolution skills to help participants arrive at written settlements or agreements. These are normally in person, but can sometimes be done by telephone conference.

We offer support and guidance to those who are trying to find their way through a maze of unfamiliar tasks and issues as their loved ones age, become infirm, and need more from those who are responsible for them.