Mediating Inter-Generational Disputes


Mediation can achieve results that the family by itself may not be capable of realizing or have the expertise to achieve. Elder Mediation is valuable because having a trained expert in communication:

• Gives the family a perspective it could not gain by meeting together on its own

• Allows all family members involved to meet and prevent problems from arising by anticipating situations that may cause disputes

• Can invite other experts, such as care managers or other care providers, to the meeting to educate the family and give them a new perspective

• Allows parents to focus on their abilities rather than their limitations

• Allows children to come up with and consider options not thought of previously

• Encourages uninvolved family members to become involved

• Allows parents to express wishes and desires that had previously gone unuttered

• Allows for a neutral third party to challenge family members and make them take responsibility for their actions

• Promotes consensus of all involved which in turn creates a much higher rate of compliance with the plan than with any other process (the success rate for compliance with elder mediation is estimated to be about 80% to 85%)

• Requires a written plan with specific responsibilities which makes compliance feasible.

The mediator can help ease communications among family members for whom the elder-care dispute may reopen decades-old wounds.

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