As Americans are getting older, more and more issues arise relating to elder abuse in financial and health care settings. Studies show that the majority of abuse occurs within the family. What can be done to resolve these issues? Listen to a respected elder abuse mediator and author, Steve Mehta, and learn how to address these difficult issues.
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Steven G. Mehta is one of California's premier award-winning attorney mediators thanks to his work in helping resolve disputes in a variety of types of civil litigation. Steve has been successfully mediating complex cases since 1999. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, 112 Ways to Succeed in Negotiation or Mediation.
Here are strategies for avoiding elder abuse:
1) Be vigilant and watch for the early signs in your senior family member that might indicate "diminished capacity." You can do this by...
a) Visiting your elderly family member more often especially if you do not live close by
b) Calling on a regular basis so as to prevent isolation from that senior member of the family
c) Talking to friends and family to get more information on how the elderly family member and caregiver are doing
2) Before making accusations about elder abuse or neglect, get knowledgeable about the situation and try to understand what is happening
a) Don't jump to conclusions or accusations
b) Try to understand from the caregiver's perspective whether it be a sister, brother or other family member who lives day-in and day-out with the elder person
3) Change the words you use from "You should have" or "You did that" TO I-statements. Take ownership of your feelings and thinking by saying "I feel left out." or "I think mom needs.." or "I believe..." This will prevent putting the other person on the defense.
4) Stop talking and LISTEN without interruption.