August 26, 2011
Using Mediation for Elder-Care Family Issues
~ written by Vicki L. Jenkins, ADR Chairperson
Families with older adults frequently have disputes over a variety of issues. A source of conflict is the issue of control – who will make decisions on behalf of (and that affect) an older adult.
Siblings often have differences of opinion concerning the capabilities of their parent. Another area of conflict for family member is deciding which sibling will be the caregiver, who will have responsibility for making decisions or how end of life decisions will be made. Within the family, siblings and parents may be in conflict as to whether a parent needs to move to an assisted living facility.
As older adults become a larger demographic segment of the society these types of disputes are becoming increasingly common and end up in litigation.
Just as a specialized practice area of law has developed to represent older adults, a specialized area of mediation has developed to address disputes that arise as part of the aging process.
Why should attorneys and mediators be interested in Elder Mediation? Lawyers who practice probate and estate law and elder law have clients who are in conflict with their family members. Lawyers need to know there is another way to resolve disputes without litigation. Mediators need to know there is another area in which their services can assist siblings and the older adult to resolve disputes that arise as part of the aging process.
Join mediators and Sandra Mendel Furman (Principal and Owner, a mature solution: family mediation services), J. Christopher Scott of Capital Mediation Associates and Kimberly Lanning, certified care manager and founder of Turning Point Concepts, for a discussion of how elder care mediation can be used to resolve conflicts that occur as part of the aging process. The ADR Committee meeting is Friday noon, September 9.