Family Mediation Canada (FMC) congratulates Lorenzo De Franco for recently completing Level 1 of its Elder Mediator Certification Program (Cert.EM Level 1).

Mr. De Franco has demonstrated a strong knowledge base in his certification requirements and his training included studying conflict and the mediation process, as well as family dynamics, issues on aging and cognitive disorders like dementia. This prepares the Elder Mediator to work with an array of situations such as age-related workplace and community issues along with families who are wishing to address family issues around managing age related change.

Lorenzo is available to offer service in the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley region. He obtained his law degree from the University of Ottawa and practiced law until the mid 1990s when he left the profession to work as a policy officer in the federal government’s Canada Small Business Financing program for 22 years until he retired in March 2018. Since 2015 he has pursued his training in mediation, specializing in elder mediation. He has achieved his Qualified Mediator certification from ADR Institute of Canada. He is an advocate for the concerns and problems that seniors and their families face. He is an active volunteer with the Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County as a speaker about dementia and as a facilitator of two monthly caregiver support groups. In addition, he is a member of FMC’s Elder Mediation Committee and the Treasurer for Elder Mediation International Network. Mr. De Franco can be contacted through his website at and by email at  [email protected].

Elder Mediation can include community, workplace or family when age-related issues are present. When family oriented, Elder Mediation can bring all family members who agree to participate together for a supportive and productive conversation. Family discussions and decisions on health concerns, changes in ability, living and care arrangements can be addressed along with relationship issues and other sensitive matters that may arise and cause disagreement or conflict. The specialty of Elder Mediation has a preventive component – when people know about the service and are referred early enough, conflict, if present, can be prevented or minimized.

Elder Mediation can also enable participants and families to plan in advance, for example, in relation to potential care requirements – thereby ensuring that the voice of the older person is included in future decisions. Elder Mediation can reduce the overall stress in family systems and has been shown to have health and wellness implications, enhancing the functionality of the family support network, heightening interpersonal communications and often delaying the need for institutional care. Where institutional care is involved, Elder Mediation can facilitate conversations between the older person, family members and care/service providers.

An Elder Mediator assists participants to have a productive and safe discussion, to explore individuals’ understanding of the issues involved and to help plan next steps. Mediation can strengthen the bonds and relationships over the current issues and give participants the tools to better deal with issues in the future.

Mr. De Franco is a very committed Elder Mediator who is now on the EM advanced roster and working toward his advanced status as an Elder Mediator. Welcome and Congratulations to Lorenzo De Franco!