Elder Mediation, Elder Care Mediation or Mediation with age related issues is the mediation of any conflict or disagreement involving an older adult.

Wills and Estate Mediation can be helpful in pre and post disputes. Having difficult family conversations about why you excluded someone from your will, why you want your children to jointly make decisions about your Power of Attorney or what your wishes are for care can happen before they are needed. Estates aren’t always able to be managed easily. Challenges about power imbalances or capacity, changes or perceived unfairness are often not about the law but the family itself.

Alternative dispute resolution allows families to achieve outcomes not necessarily aligned with the law but outcomes that are a better fit for the family. It acknowledges and accounts for the relationships and history that exists. It keeps the focus on the family member at the center of the dispute, what are/were their wishes? Who can help us with the reasons for those wishes.

Mediation’s inherent nature – private, informal, supportive and non-confrontational – makes it particularly appropriate in these types of situations.

Mediation-Arbitration also provides the family with a private, supportive process which allows decisions to be made about the process, timelines and elements of the law to be followed.

Professionals that can help are mediators and arbitrators with not only training in family law, elder law, estate law (to name a few), but who also possess up-to-date knowledge about the kinds of issues that are particularly likely to be a concern for your family. These issues may include:

  • Driving
  • Housing and living arrangements
  • Health care (at home, in the hospital, or in continuing care and long-term care communities)
  • Medical decisions
  • Financial decisions and disputes
  • Safety and environment
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Relationship concerns (including inter-generational as well as new marriages and blended family)
  • Religious issues
  • Estate planning & disputes
  • Succession planning
  • Wills, Estate and Trust challenges
  • Guardianship
  • End of life issues

The flexibility of the process, in terms of who can attend and where a mediation can be held (i.e. location and participants), is also “elder-friendly”.  Unlike more formal court-based processes that generally involve only the actual parties to a dispute, mediation allows for a range of people to be involved in the discussion.

Since quite often the root of the problem lies beyond the actual parties to the disagreement and the specific issue(s) in dispute, the participation of a number of people (such as family members and friends) goes a long way to resolving the problem in a true and lasting way.  An older adult may also feel more comfortable and confident engaging in difficult discussions where others – such as friends, family members, or members of the clergy – are present to give support.

For more details about your process options, click on an icon below.