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New Program Offers Mediation Services for Caregivers, Elderly

June 10, 2017, 11:03 AM HST
* Updated June 9, 10:36 AM
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Photo courtesy of Kuʻikahi Mediation Center.

Kuʻikahi Mediation Center and West Hawaiʻi Mediation Center, in partnership with Hawai’i County Office of Aging, have partnered to launch a new program providing mediation and conflict resolution support services for kupuna, caregivers and families on Hawaiʻi Island.

“Are you taking care of a parent or grandparent? Having a hard time communicating your needs? Or do you need support talking to family members or service providers? We can help,” said WHMC Executive Director Zaheva Knowles.

The program is called “Communication & Conflict Resolution Support for Kupuna & Caregivers,” and offers a safe place for having difficult conversations, making tough decisions and resolving disputes that may arise in caregiving situations.

“Issues that can be discussed in mediation include living arrangements, financial support, durable and medical powers of attorney, as well as changing roles, shared decision-making, and divvying up responsibilities,” said Julie Mitchell, Kuʻikahiʻs executive director. “For example, what if mom wants to maintain independent living and safety is a concern, or grandpa is having a hard time balancing his checkbook, and family members disagree on how best to provide assistance?”

The program services are offered free or at a low cost.

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For more information, contact Kuʻikahi Mediation Center at 935-7844 or [email protected] in East Hawaiʻi, or contact West Hawaiʻi Mediation Center at 885-5525 or [email protected] in West Hawaiʻi.

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In August and October, the centers will offer two workshops in Hilo and Kona for caregivers of adults age 60 and older. The first workshop will be “Communicating Needs to Family Members and Service Providers.” The second is titled “Communicating More Effectively in Challenging Situations.” Caregivers include spouses, adult children, siblings, other relatives, friends, neighbors or other unpaid helpers.

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