"Elder Mediation" is a mediation of any conflict involving an "elder", either directly or indirectly. It can provide a neutral and safe environment to help elders and those in their lives as they are confronted with difficult decisions affecting the elder's care, finances, health or quality of life. For example, maybe you and your siblings are unable to decide on the level or type of care for an elderly parent and need help reaching agreement. Or maybe you believe your parent should be in a nursing home, and he or she is resistant. Or maybe you have financial or even safety concerns relating to an elderly relative, and decisions need to be made. Elder Mediation can facilitate a balanced, safe family conversation at any stage as a parent or other ages and decisions need to be made.
A key component of Elder Mediation is that the elder participates, either personally or through a representative, allowing him or her to have a voice in decisions that affect his or her quality of life and preserving to the fullest extent possible a level of dignity and autonomy for the elder. Elder Mediation values not only the participation of the elder but also the participation of anyone who may need a voice in the decisions on the table. Elder Mediation seeks to give each person the opportunity to be fully heard and understood and provides the environment for all parties to be creative in developing an individualized plan for their unique situation.
Many Elder Mediations will touch on long-standing family issues and tensions. The opportunity to voice complaints, recieve an apology, and better understand specific behaviors can help participants let go of resentments or other emotional baggage and redirect their focus toward resolution. Elder Mediation carries the potential to improve communication and to preserve or restore relationships, all while making the best plan possible for an aging parent or relative.