The site features a neutral party mediator, in an online meeting room, to moderate and maintain peace, informing the family of the relevant issues and assistance available for their aging parent.
February 2013 Mountain View, California
The site was created by an attorney mediator, Richard Schwachter, now himself a senior, who became the sole caretaker of his father, who had Alzheimer's disease, and his mother who lived 91 years. By his own admission, œhe didn't have a clue where to start. The needs of elder parents overlap so many areas that more than one source of information and expertise is required. Schwachter has empathy for the many families that have the added challenge of having to make decisions œby committee or provide care from long distance.
The site http://www.startyourelderparentplan.com/ allows the parties to communicate œface to face with the mediator and each other using SKYPE. If one of the parties chooses not to use SKYPE they can still participate by phone. The mediator uses a PowerPoint presentation and shared screens to present an overview of issues including: assessing a parent's physical and mental condition; the parent's personal information necessary to be collected to adequately inform other caregivers; strategies for dealing with doctors, hospitals, finances and the government. There is also an overview of acronyms such as DPOA, HPOA, DNR, VA and a discussion of Medicare, Medigap and Medicaid, Assisted living and Nursing homes. Local information is highlighted although the mediator is careful to point out that œno legal advice is being offered. The meeting is priced to be affordable by most families.