The National Care Planning Councel has an article on Elder Law Mediation as a non-adversarial approach to solving disputes. Mediation is a process of bringing two or more disputing parties together and having them mutually negotiate a solution to their disagreement. The mediator is not a judge and does not render a decision but is there to make sure that communication flows freely between the disputing parties. Elder Mediators are trained in the art of negotiating resolutions between elderly parents and family members.
Mediation can achieve results that the family by itself may not be capable of realizing or have the expertise of achieving. Here are some reasons that make Elder Mediation so valuable.
• A trained expert on communication gives the family a perspective it could not gain by meeting together on its own;
• All family members involved meet and prevent problems from arising by anticipating situations that may cause disputes;
• Allows for the mediator to invite experts such as care managers or other care providers into the meeting to educate the family and give them a new perspective;
• Allows parents to focus on their abilities rather than their limitations;
• Allows children to come up with and consider options not thought of previously;
• Encourages uninvolved family members to become involved;
• Allows parents to express wishes and desires that had previously gone unuttered;
• Allows for a neutral third party to challenge family members and make them take responsibility for their actions;
• Promotes consensus of all involved which in turn creates a much higher rate of compliance with the plan than with any other process; (the success rate for compliance with elder mediation is estimated to be about 80% to 85%)
• Requires a written plan with specific responsibilities which makes compliance feasible.