How we can help
When your family faces decisions about age related issues, it can seem difficult
to communicate and make decisions together given the many different perspectives
and emotions involved. Elder Mediation provides a process for families to make decisions
in a way that can both prepare for the future and preserve relationships.
Our Mediators are professionals familiar with the ageing process and all the issues
involved. We facilitate family discussions and ensure that the rights and wishes
of the older person are respected. Difficult topics can be addressed in a safe and
What are specific types of situations in which mediation can be helpful?
Each family has specific needs but the issues commonly addressed in elder mediation
The level of care that may be needed for a loved one
Living arrangements/ Nursing Home decisions
Care giving roles and responsibilities
Conflicting perceptions, interpretations and values
Finances and bill paying
Personal property distribution
Driving and transportation
Medical and end-of-life decisions
Elder Mediation works because Mediators:
- help families to communicate more effectively in order to reach an agreement about
- create a safe space to talk
- help participants to express what is important to them so that others can hear and
- reality-test options suggested and assist you to determine what additional information
you may need to make well-considered decisions.
A lot of families find it difficult to initiate and have such discussions on their
own. With the best will in the world, often families fall into familiar roles when
difficult decisions have to be made; one member may dominate discussions and others
might have difficulty being heard - that’s where Later Life Mediation can help. Our
role is to facilitate a conversation where all voices are heard in order to obtain
the best possible outcome for all concerned.
What happens when I contact Later Life Mediation?
Every mediation is different but there is a general pattern:
- The person who contacts the service explains why mediation is being considered and
who might be involved. If mediation is appropriate, the mediator will ask the caller
to contact other family members to see if they would be interested in participating.
(Mediations usually involve older people and their family members. However, sometimes
it is appropriate to involve friends, neighbours, paid caregivers or health professionals.)
- The mediator has a private, confidential conversation with each of the participants
who has agreed to be part of the mediation. (In some situations, it may be possible
to proceed directly to the joint meeting without prior conversations with participants.)
- The next step is a meeting (there may be more than one meeting) where all of the
participants are present with the mediator allowing issues to be aired in order to
resolve them or to agree the best way forward.
What participants say
Here are some quotations from people who have used this type of service
‘Talking makes help and support more likely to happen. It also makes the family
understand what day-to-day living is like’
‘We had a situation that was full of opposing views and opinions. We all care about
each other in our family, but things have a way of getting too personal. We needed
someone to help us move forward’
‘Why in the name of God did it take so long to hear about this type of mediation?’