In a perfect world, seniors would be free to make all their own decisions about how best to cope with their current and future needs. But in the real world, when seniors disagree with those who care the most for them about what is right, what is fair, and what they want, conflicts often arise.

Elder mediation can help. The process promotes communications among concerned people who are unable to resolve their disagreements when conflicts focus on care planning and financial security.

The goal of elder mediation is to assist seniors who are stuck in a dispute to reach a voluntary agreement that is acceptable to all. It is a process of communication and constructive dialogue that is facilitated by a highly specialized mediator who can objectively guide each participant to understand the others’ needs, interests, and goals.

Mediators who specialize in issues impacting seniors have studied the social, cognitive and physical changes brought on by aging, as well as the legal tools and community resources that may apply. Typical elder mediation themes include suitable living arrangements, necessary medical care, proper financial planning, and end-of-life options.  

Elder mediation has become an important alternative to relying on the courts. The mediator – a neutral person – tries to provide all participants with the opportunity to express and explain their issues and concerns. By encouraging openness and fairness, the elder mediator strives to empower each participant to better serve the senior whose best interests are at stake.

Once mediation has commenced, elder mediators often advise individual participants to consult with geriatric care managers, health care professionals, financial planners, accountants, realtors or attorneys to ensure that expert information is used to clarify a central goal.

California law protects everything expressed in mediation with rules of confidentiality. The elder mediator cannot be subpoenaed to testify as a witness in court and, since the process relies on team support, participants may seldom use information obtained through mediation in future legal proceedings to support a point of view.

Elder mediation may not always be a proper remedy and, after it has started, the mediator may sometimes need to withdraw. This might occur if the mediator questions whether a particular participant has the capacity to make decisions, has wrongful ulterior motives, or may have been coerced into agreeing to take part.

Even if participants are not able to arrive at a consensus, the elder mediation process will have been beneficial if opinions, concerns and empathies have not only been expressed, but are better understood.

For more information, call H.E.L.P. at 310-533-1996.

In a perfect world, seniors would be free to make all their own decisions about how best to cope with their current and future needs. But in the real world, when seniors disagree with those who care the most for them about what is right, what is fair, and what they want, conflicts often arise.

Elder mediation can help. The process promotes communications among concerned people who are unable to resolve their disagreements when conflicts focus on care planning and financial security.

The goal of elder mediation is to assist seniors who are stuck in a dispute to reach a voluntary agreement that is acceptable to all. It is a process of communication and constructive dialogue that is facilitated by a highly specialized mediator who can objectively guide each participant to understand the others’ needs, interests, and goals.

Mediators who specialize in issues impacting seniors have studied the social, cognitive and physical changes brought on by aging, as well as the legal tools and community resources that may apply. Typical elder mediation themes include suitable living arrangements, necessary medical care, proper financial planning, and end-of-life options.  

Elder mediation has become an important alternative to relying on the courts. The mediator – a neutral person – tries to provide all participants with the opportunity to express and explain their issues and concerns. By encouraging openness and fairness, the elder mediator strives to empower each participant to better serve the senior whose best interests are at stake.

Once mediation has commenced, elder mediators often advise individual participants to consult with geriatric care managers, health care professionals, financial planners, accountants, realtors or attorneys to ensure that expert information is used to clarify a central goal.

California law protects everything expressed in mediation with rules of confidentiality. The elder mediator cannot be subpoenaed to testify as a witness in court and, since the process relies on team support, participants may seldom use information obtained through mediation in future legal proceedings to support a point of view.

Elder mediation may not always be a proper remedy and, after it has started, the mediator may sometimes need to withdraw. This might occur if the mediator questions whether a particular participant has the capacity to make decisions, has wrongful ulterior motives, or may have been coerced into agreeing to take part.

Even if participants are not able to arrive at a consensus, the elder mediation process will have been beneficial if opinions, concerns and empathies have not only been expressed, but are better understood.

For more information, call H.E.L.P. at 310-533-1996.