“Elder Mediation” is now called “Intergenerational Mediation” in Ontario and is probably more appropriately called multi-generational, multi-party family mediation.
Unlike mediation for separation and divorce, which typically involves only two parties, Elder Mediation sees the participation of all relevant family members, other caregivers, sometimes friends who are involved in care and sometimes support people who may assist an older adult to feel cared for and confident.
“Intergenerational mediators” are accredited after extensive training specifically with respect to the issues relevant to people as we age.
Some of the issues that can be resolved using this type of mediation include:
- estate and retirement planning
- driving and transportation
- housing and living arrangements
- health care and medical decision making
- safety in community and at home
- concerns a family member or friend may have around abuse and neglect of an older person
- caregiver responsibility
- new relationships, marriages and blended families
- religious issues
- holiday schedules
- relationships with grandchildren
- financial concerns
- family business planning
- end of life issues
Family dynamics, different levels of involvement and information and varying interests can make conversations around these issues difficult in a family. Mediation provides a respectful, safe environment in which families, friends and caregivers can have important and often challenging conversations about the problems the people we love face as they age.
Marian Gage is one of a growing number of mediators in Ontario who has been accredited as an Elder Mediator with the AccEM designation (OAFM). If you have questions about how this process can help you or somebody you care about please contact Fiona Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.