Elder Mediation is a focused, respectful process – usually multi-party, multi-issue and intergenerational – whereby a trained Elder Mediator ensures, as much as possible, that all who need to be are present in the mediation. The mediator facilitates discussions focusing on present strengths and assists participants in exploring any issues or concerns. This form of mediation often involves many people related to the issues, such as family members, caregivers, organizations, agencies and a variety of service providers and networks.
Elder Mediation is based on a wellness model that promotes a person-centred approach for all participants; it is mindful of the older person(s) while respecting the rights of each person participating. Regardless of the numbers present, each person is unique with his or her own narrative, intrinsic value, strengths and weaknesses. Through the Elder Mediation lens, aging is viewed as part of a continuing process of development and change, rather than just a period of physical and cognitive decline.
The specialty of Elder Mediation has a preventive component. Where people know about the service and are referred early enough, conflict 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.
Many national organizations are aware of the value of Elder Mediation and support the inclusion of Elder Mediation as part of a continuum of quality care. However, they must be confident that the Elder Mediators, to whom they are referring, are informed and appropriately qualified in mediation practices and processes, and knowledgeable of, and sensitized to, aging and age-related issues.
An Elder Mediator is a person who is professionally trained in Elder Mediation theories and practices along with its preventive and wellness aspects. The Elder Mediator facilitates communication among the participants and assists them toward mutually beneficial outcomes.
Issues that can benefit from elder mediation 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.
Family Mediation Canada is pleased to announce the implementation of the Cert.EM Level 1 Certification Program. This designation represents the first step towards Cert.EM Advanced certification – the gold standard in Elder Mediation Certification.
FMC recognizes the need for a national standard in the field of elder mediation and is guided by the Elder Mediation International Network’s Code of Ethics. Specializing in issues of aging assures competency for Elder Mediators and that they have worked toward deepening their sensitivities in this important area. The goal of both FMC Elder Mediation program and the international EMIN program is to promote a consistent standard for elder mediators through certification and continuing education. The general public can be assured that FMC certified Elder Mediators are both committed and competent to work professionally and ethically in this developing field of practice.
The newly introduced Certified Elder Mediator Level 1 certification includes all the requirements listed in the Elder Mediation Advanced Certification application form, excluding the requirement of completing a video role play, self-assessment and written exam. The new certification level is considered an entry level of Elder Mediation certification for both those newly entering the field and those family mediators currently offering an Elder Mediation service who would benefit from additional education and training specific to Elder Mediation. The expectation is that once applicants have experienced the Level 1 certification they will then aspire to continue to move forward to the Cert.EM Advanced level which would be required for Elder Mediators to offer Elder Mediation training.
Cert.EM Level 1
The newly introduced Level 1 Elder Mediator certification includes all the requirements listed in the Elder Mediation Advanced Certification application form, excluding the requirement of completing a video role play, self-assessment and written exam. The new certification level is considered an entry level of Elder Mediation certification for both those newly entering the field and those family mediators currently offering an Elder Mediation service who would benefit from additional education and training specific to Elder Mediation. The expectation is that once applicants have experienced the Level 1 certification they will then aspire to continue to move forward to the Cert.EM Advanced level. The advanced level is that which includes the video role play, self-assessment and written exam. Elder Mediators who wish to offer Elder Mediation training will be required to hold the Cert.EM Advanced level of certification.
All currently certified Elder Mediators – those who have already completed a role play, self-assessment and written exam as part of their certification & were previously designated “Cert.EM” – will move to the advanced level and be entitled to use the “Cert.EM Advanced” designation.
The Cert.EM Advanced designation reflects the highest standards in education, training and experience for elder mediators. Our Certification Program embodies a comprehensive training process as well as a rigorous assessment of each Elder Mediation candidate. FMC’s Certification Program also requires on-going training.
The Elder Mediation International Network’s Code of Ethics was developed with input from around the world and continues to be the ‘gold standard’ for elder mediators. It serves as the basis for FMC’s Certification Program. This Code has been adapted to meet the unique requirements of elder mediators in Canada and throughout the world.
Mediators seeking certification are required to hold membership with Family Mediation Canada
Click here to join FMC
Candidates on the roster to becoming a certified Elder Mediator will have opportunities to demonstrate their sensitivities and knowledge, empathic qualities, values, mediation skills and abilities. They will demonstrate their commitment to professional development and self-determination and enhance their learning in the general area of ageing and age-related issues, self-empowerment and self-determination while demonstrating learning in the general area of age-related issues.
The two levels of certification:
- Cert.EM Level 1 – includes all the requirements listed in the Elder Mediation Advanced Certification application form excluding the role play, self-assessment and written exam. For an application for Cert.EM Level 1 – Click here
- Cert.EM Advanced – requires the candidate to submit a video role play, self-assessment and successfully complete the written exam. For an application for Cert.EM Advanced – Click here
- Direct Cert.EM Advanced – proceed directly to the Cert.EM Advanced certification process. For an application for Direct Cert.EM Advanced – Click here
Requirements to Apply
With the two tracks for achieving the “Cert.EM Advanced” designation, (Part A and B), candidates can opt to complete the entry level of certification (Cert.EM Level 1) (Part A) first, and then at some later date complete the remaining requirements (Part B) to attain the advanced designation (Cert.EM Advanced). OR a candidate can move directly to the Cert.EM Advanced process from the outset. (Direct Process). The requirements for the latter – called the Direct route in the table below – are as follows:
- Current, formal certification in basic conflict resolution and family mediation.
- Registered as a member of Family Mediation Canada
- Complete 100 hours of age-related Elder Mediation education and training in the following subject areas:
- Intergenerational dynamics, current and future profiles of seniors in Canada; family life cycle; family dynamics
- recognizing and responding to elder abuse & neglect
- knowledge of legislation relevant to elder mediation, capacity and elder abuse
- identifying and dealing with power dynamics involving and affecting older people with and without capacity
- the nature and impact of bereavement, grief and loss
- the impact of ageism, sexism and cultural diversity
- understanding dementia & age-related diseases and how to assess, manage and accommodate capacity issues
- financial & estate issues for identifying areas of concern
- ethics and ethical issues
- facilitating and writing agreements
- Advance Care Directives – Power of Attorney & Guardianship
- Experience – 5 role plays and/or actual Elder Mediation cases
- Role play recording & self-assessment (guidelines provided)
- Pass 3 hour invigilated exam
||Cert.EM Level 1
||Cert.EM Advanced (after Level 1)
||Cert.EM Advanced (Direct)
*Please remember that all applicants must already be an FMC member ($140/year)
2021 Elder Mediation Annual Certification Maintenance Form
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: Marie-Claire Chartrand please email [email protected]