Mediation is a process for resolving disputes. Two or more parties to a dispute meet and attempt, with the assistance of a mediator, to settle the matters in dispute. The mediation takes place in a private, informal setting, where the parties participate in the negotiation and design of the settlement agreement. The mediator is trained to help people settle conflicts collaboratively and has no decision-making power. The dispute is settled only if all of the parties agree to the settlement.
Ministry of Attorney General, British Columbia, Guide to Mediation in BC
When people disagree, they are often able to resolve their differences by considering each other’s point of view and talking things through. For a number of reasons, however, this isn’t always possible, or it may be extremely difficult. Here, mediation can be very effective, since the role of the mediator is to encourage honest and respectful discussions, in which all voices are heard. Where the subject-matter of the dispute has legal implications, mediation forms one part of a larger process, complementing (but not replacing) legal advice. Mediation can also be used to resolve disagreements among individuals that, while painful and disruptive, do not have legal implications.
Elder Mediation is the mediation of any conflict or disagreement involving an older adult. Mediation’s inherent nature — private, informal, supportive and non-confrontational — makes it particularly appropriate in these kinds of situations. 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 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.
“Elder mediators” are trained mediators who also possess expert, up-to-date knowledge about the kinds of issues that are particularly likely to be associated with older adults.
These issues include
- housing and living arrangements
- health care (at home, in the hospital, or in continuing care and long-term care communities)
- medical decisions
- nursing home decisions
- safety and environment
- abuse and neglect
- care for the caregiver as well as caregiver burden
- relationship concerns (this includes intergenerational relationships as well as new marriages and stepfamily situations)
- religious issues
- holiday schedules
- financial concerns
- estate planning
- family business
- end of life issues
Elder Mediation Committee
The objectives of this Committee include
- promoting the independence and well-being of older adults in Canada by encouraging the use of affordable mediation services
- providing education, training and resources to elder mediators nationally
- supporting the development of certification programs and standards for elder mediators nationally
- helping certified elder mediators maintain their skills through continuing education programs with a focus on developments that affect older adults
- distributing information on aging-related topics, with a focus on the use of elder mediation
- providing opportunities for networking and information sharing between elder mediators, and individuals and organizations interested in elder mediation.
To review the Elder Mediation Code of Ethics, click here.
For more information about Elder Mediation, please do not hesitate to contact us.
To find a qualified Elder Mediator in your area, click here.
To contact the Elder Mediation Committee Chair: Judy McCann-Beranger please email email@example.com