What is Mediation?
Mediation is a structured yet informal process where the mediator, a neutral trained professional, helps people identify and discuss issues of mutual concern. The process is both confidential and voluntary and can include professional advisors and/or care managers in addition to the elder and interested family members.

Why choose mediation?
Family dynamics are complicated and they are further compounded by the transitions inherent in the changing lifestyle, relationships and needs of an elder. Family disputes that have been simmering for years often can obscure the best intentions of all involved. Mediation enables proactive families to positively resolve conflict that potentially could tear them apart financially and emotionally. In mediated family meetings, everyone has the opportunity to privately explore the needs and feelings of all involved and to deal rationally with the problems and issues under discussion outside of a courtroom.

How are mediated agreements made?
Mediated agreements are the result of shared decision-making. The process is cooperative, not adversarial, and leaves all decision making in the hands of the participants. As a result, mediated solutions are broad in scope and include all issues relevant to the parties involved.

When is mediation appropriate?
Mediation is an appropriate forum for resolving any conflict where the parties involved participate voluntarily in the confidential process and are motivated to develop an agreement that improves their situation.

Is mediation right for your family?
If you are grappling with issues related to an elder’s financial responsibilities, capacity to make important decisions, or arrangements regarding daily living and assistance needs, mediation could be the right road for you. Mediation lets you design realistic, workable solutions that preserve family relationships and emotional health.

,Next steps
If you or someone you know could benefit from structured assistance in family decision making, contact Elder Decisions® at (617) 621-7009. One of our partners will discuss your situation with you to understand the scope of the issues and the other parties whom you think should be involved. Following this, the other identified parties will be contacted for some further discussion, basic information gathering, and scheduling.

We recommend beginning the mediation process before a crisis occurs to ensure that thoughtful well-considered strategies for dealing with life transitions are put in place. Mediation can strengthen family ties and enable all family members to deal with the changing nature of their relationships in a way that provides peace of mind and leaves them with no regrets in the future.