Resolving Conflicts and Care for Ageing Parents

Resolving Conflicts and Care for Aging Parents

Disputes about best care practices for ageing parents can arise due to strained family relationships and different perceptions. Ageing parents (elders) may be sensitive to any move to limit their independence, and family members may disagree with proposed family decisions.

According to the Better Health Channel, family conflicts are common, but persistent conflict is unhealthy and damages relationships. Positive communications help family members make appropriate compromises to reach a mutual understanding and avoid conflict. Sharing viewpoints in an open-minded and respectful manner facilitates the elimination of conflict.

A parent becomes more susceptible as they age due to a loss in their general health, physical endurance, and cognitive abilities. “Everyone should have access to the most recent health news and comprehensive health coverage. Gaining knowledge makes it easier to pursue optimal health and well-being,” says Layla Colling of Health Hero—one of Australia’s most extensive and fastest-growing health information websites.

Heightened emotions and outbursts by family members don’t help resolve the situation and hinder effective inter-personal communications. Before making poor decisions out of frustration or opting for a costly time-consuming legal process, family members may want to consider elder mediation.


Elder mediation is a collective approach in which a mediator with specialised elder mediation training aids in facilitating dialogues among elder persons, family members and other interested parties. It is a voluntary, self-determinative process which is confidential and done in a private setting. Elder mediation helps address numerous issues and tensions that frequently occur throughout the family life cycle and offers a win-win solution to all the participants.


Elder mediation helps maintain and strengthen family bonds by creating choices and options which take into account the various interests and rights of all the participants. The mediator ensures that everyone is heard and keeps the conversation flowing. Elder mediation can help families discuss wills and estates, living and financial arrangements, family conflicts and business disputes which many be impacted by ageing-related factors requiring medical and legal decisions.


Individual family members are often concerned about elder abuse and neglect by implying that the current family member/care giver may be verbally aggressive and abusive or failing to provide the appropriate care to the elder person. The early adoption of elder mediation brings all the parties to the table to discuss the situation, address their concerns and avoid elder abuse, neglect and even potentially financial exploitation.

Elder persons may try and avoid discussing any perceptions of neglect or abuse to avoid any feelings of embarrassment or humiliation. They may believe the situation is acceptable in order to avoid any conflict within their family members. They may express optimism that the situation will improve in the future because they fear any discussions will make the situation worse.

The role of the mediator in elder mediation is to ensure that the needs and wishes of the elder person are heard and that the participants identify the various issues and find solutions to meet the needs of the elder persons and avoid conflict with in the family.


Resolving these complex family situations is challenging. Family members taking on the lead role to resolve the situation are not seen as neutral and independent by other family members. Rather than taking on the lead role you can seek the professional services of am elder mediator to obtain consensus from all the family members in order to help your family resolve the problems and find solutions for your aging elder person(s).

Bridge Mediation delivers effective client-focused interest-based dispute resolution services through mediators certified by the National Mediator Standards Board with elder mediation training.

Contact us for more information on our elder mediation services at

This blog was prepared with the assistance of Callum Whitworth.


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