THE MEDIATION CENTER (TMC) PROVIDES MEDIATION SERVICES DESIGNED TO HELP
FAMILIES MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT HOW TO MANAGE THE CHANGING NEEDS OF OLDER ADULTS.
Most families will eventually face the responsibilities, decisions, and challenges involved in caring for an elderly family member. Sometimes, these challenges, and the stress they cause, can lead to conflict and create obstacles to reasoned decision-making.
When family tensions are high . . . TMC mediators can facilitate dialogue about issues that are sometimes hard to talk about.
- Provides a forum for family decision-making.
- Is private, confidential, and completely voluntary.
- Facilitates a purposeful and directed conversation.
- Helps all family members articulate their interests and fears in a safe, private setting.
- Improves understanding between the elder adult and the important people in their lives.
- Encourages family members to express their emotions, preferences, and concerns
during decision making.
- Assists families to explore options and create solutions that respect the dignity of all
family members, are reality-based, and work for everyone involved.
- Develops communication strategies which make it possible for family members to
successfully work together to make important decisions in the future.
Because family members develop their own solutions which reflect their family’s unique situation, satisfaction with the outcome is quite high and the solutions tend to be workable and long-lasting.
WHEN IS ELDER MEDIATION APPROPRIATE? WHEN IS IT NOT APPROPRIATE?
Mediation may be an appropriate means to resolve conflict where the parties voluntarily participate in the process and are motivated to reach an agreement. Elder mediation helps families to successfully grapple with issues such as caregiving for aging parents, estate disputes, safety and health concerns, and decisions regarding the family home and the best place for parents to live.
A core value of elder mediation is the protection of the rights and integrity of seniors. In cases where the elder has cognitive impairment or other limitations in his or her ability to fully understand and participate in decision-making, the mediator may suggest that an appropriate advocate or other resource for the elder (such as an attorney, social worker, or geriatric care manager) be present for all conversations and participate in all decisions which would impact the senior.