Elder Mediation – you may not have heard the term before, but, with an ageing population, the emerging practice of elder mediation could soon become a staple in age-related care. Elder mediation is a growing industry in Canada and the USA, becoming better known in Australia.
The practice is much like other forms of mediation: An objective, arm’s-length party helps resolve family disputes regarding the care of an ageing loved one (anything from housing and finances to care-giving routines and end-of-life planning).
Elder mediators bring together circles of care — anyone from brothers or daughters to best friends or church colleagues — to have essential yet difficult conversations in a balanced, focused fashion. The ideal results are improved communication, evenly divided responsibilities, and the best possible care for the loved one.
“The first thing that everybody has in common is that, wow, you’re all here,” says Judy M. Beranger, an elder mediator in St. John’s, Nfld. “You’ve gone out of your way to get here because you all care about what happens to your loved one … As long as they come to the table, [an elder mediator] can facilitate the process.” “[Elder mediation] is just leaving the embryonic stage in many senses,” Beranger says. “But with our ageing population, it’s going to change the face of health care as we know it.”
Our Consultant Lawyer, Lyn Lucas, is one of a handful of Elder Mediators who has had intensive training in elder mediation in the USA. Contact Lyn if you wish to discuss elder mediation in relation to your family problems or disputes.
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