Have you ever gone to the wrong meeting only to realize you were exactly where you were meant to be?
During the coldest week of Winter 2019, with temperatures of -25ºF, Amy Miller, founder of Our Family Encounter, experienced a bit of brain freeze. She intended to go to a church in West Saint Paul, MN. Instead she arrived at a church in Mendota, MN where they celebrated Mass for the World Day of the Sick.
Following Mass, Amy met with some healthcare professionals who mentioned that when a person is admitted to a hospital without a Healthcare Directive, the healthcare professionals are sometimes required to make life and death decisions. The healthcare professionals also mentioned that when a patient receives a difficult diagnosis, they sometimes do not have family around to support them due to estrangement or no one lives close by. This makes handling matters and making decisions difficult.
When families learn their parents are in crisis, it often comes as a surprise. Whether it is about legal, financial, housing or care concerns, families consider that their parents have it under control — until it’s too late.
Many advisors, attorneys, financial planners, and care professionals provide advice for individuals seniors, but rarely are they able to work with the family unless one of them has been granted Power of Attorney. Mediators are able to link the whole family through the various decisions in a planning session or to manage a healthcare, financial or housing crisis. Being able to bring in trusted advisors and professionals together to guide families can bring a family closer together and can improve family dynamics while avoiding painful or costly mistakes later on. The greatest legacy most parents want to leave their children is knowing they are able to get along.
Mediation and facilitation brings a families together by using online tools like video-conferencing and creating a plan to follow up and support each other. Whether family members or advisors located anywhere in the world, being able to connect allows decision making and planning at any time of day at a low cost. Open, inclusive, and accessible environment provided by mediation offers flexibility to families members who might otherwise be unable to help their loved ones.