What is Elder Mediation?

About elder mediation

Elder mediation is a specialised field of mediation that focuses on conflicts that arise in the context of aging.  It encourages and promotes direct communication among the disputing parties, and seeks to create an environment where all participants have an opportunity to speak and be heard and work together to resolve issues.

Why is elder mediation needed?

Significant changes and transitions come with aging.  Elder mediation is most appropriate for participants who have a particular issue or concern involving an elder/senior and the issue may be related to the aging process, such as:

  • caregiving
  • estate planning and administration
  • guardianship
  • health care
  • housing and living arrangements
  • finances and insurance
  • end-of-life planning and decision-making

Elder mediation advocates for mutual respect and encourages all participants to understand the other participant’s perspective on the issue.  Elder mediation may prevent further family tension, division, estrangement, or the need for litigation.

Elder mediation is effective when there is a need for specialist knowledge, for example when a person has a diagnosis of dementia, and a desire to promote the self-determination of older people.

What happens in an elder mediation?

Elder mediation is similar to other types of mediation in that elder mediators act as neutral third parties.  They act as unbiased participants throughout the process.

Elder mediators are specially trained to understand the effects of aging on an individual, families, and the community, while also utilizing a process, and providing an environment, that promotes problem-solving.

Where can I find an elder mediator?

A searchable directory of Section members will be produced in 2011 – stay tuned!  In the meantime, visit www.mediate.com.

Where can I find out more about elder mediation?

Click on the Resources tab above for links to websites, articles and other sources of information about elder mediation.