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Help for the Sandwich Generation

Today, in the 21st century, we are seeing a family problem that is affecting the baby boomer generation - caring for aging parents. Because many of us postponed marriage and parenthood until later in life, we are now faced with caring not only for children but also for elderly parents. Because many of us no longer live in our city or town of birth, the responsibilities of providing care are falling on a sibling who has remained in town, or decision-making is perplexing because of lack of information about available resources, or lack of agreement on the best course of action.

Although siblings may have well developed and healthy communication skills, talking about the complex situation of care for mom and/or dad may put open and effective communication beyond one's abilities. Emotions come into play. Feelings of guilt well up, and defense mechanisms take control.

When decisions have to be made, often people do not know where to turn. It may be painful to talk to mom and dad and increasingly difficult to talk with siblings. We at Partners in Mediation, Inc. have developed a "family conferencing model" of mediation that we have used successfully in these cases. Mediation is a process in which people can talk about their problems in a safe, confidential setting facilitated by a neutral who is skilled in helping people solve their own problems. Mediation is different than therapy, and no one is identified as needing psychological help.

We maintain an extensive resource list available to clients, and, when appropriate, phone calls can be made from our office during a mediation session. Because we believe it is important for all family members to participate in the process, we can arrange a telephone conference to include those living out of town. If lack of mobility is a concern, we will conduct the mediation session from the home or care facility of an infirm family member.

In short, Partners in Mediation, Inc. is ready, willing and very able to help you and your family talk about these important and complex issues, and come to agreement on the best course of action for all involved. Please call us. We are happy to talk with you about our services. And if you know someone - a friend, neighbor, co-worker - who might benefit form this information, please share it with him or her. They will thank you.

Mediation: An idea who's time has come

© 2006 Partners In Mediation, Inc