Aging often involves a change in circumstances that requires elders and their families to make important life decisions. In elder mediation, family members come together as active participants in a process focused on communication, understanding, creative problem–solving, and resolution. Mediators act as neutrals, facilitating discussion and a roadmap for decision-making.
Can you Benefit from Elder Mediation?
Elder mediation can benefit all types of families, from those that typically communicate well but cannot agree, to those contemplating or involved in litigation. It is often used proactively to bring families together to consider, for example, issues related to retirement, concerns about future lack of capacity, estate planning, charitable gifting, and care decisions necessitated by the onset of an illness. Because caring for an elder often requires multiple people to share responsibilities, elder mediation allows participants to share their point of view, including the elder who may otherwise believe that life choices are out of his/her control.
Avoidance of Court Proceedings
In contrast to a court proceedings, elder mediation give family members the opportunity to work more effectively together on an ongoing basis and limit both financial and emotional costs. In this way, mediation empowers family members to create enduring solutions. The experience can lay the foundation for future improved communication.
Issues in Elder Mediation
Mediation can include issues concerning living arrangements, long-term care, trust & estates planning, safety, family communications, driving, caregiving, quality of life, end of life decisions, management and coordination of care, health care and finances, and insurance. Often, such decisions require consultation with other professionals such as health care experts, geriatric care managers, financial advisors, insurance agents, specialized attorneys, and accountants.
Moving Beyond Conflict to Resolution
We can help and are sensitive to the fact that each family is unique and has its own history of communication and decision making.