"Elder Mediation" is the mediation of any dispute or conflict involving an older person. Mediation by nature is cooperative, private, informal, supportive and non-confrontational, and lends itself well to resolution of disagreements with people of advanced age.
In Elder Mediation the underlying root of the problem often lies beyond the defined parties to the disagreement and the particular issue in dispute. The participation of all involved including family members and friends can be integral to resolving the problem in an honest and meaningful way. The presence of support people during mediation can assist an older adult to feel more cared for and confident during difficult conversations. Depending on the situation it is not uncommon to include paid caregivers, hospital staff, nursing home and or community care representatives, physicians and other professionals.
"Elder mediators" are professionally trained mediators who possess skilful, current knowledge about the types of issues that are particularly likely to be associated with older adults. These issues can include;
- estate and retirement planning
- driving and transportation
- housing and living arrangements
- health care and medical decision making
- safety in community and at home
- abuse and neglect
- caregiver responsibility
- relationship concerns
- new marriages and blended families
- religious issues
- holiday schedules
- financial concerns
- family business
- end of life issues
Elder Mediation Training
In response to the identified need to be ready to deal with an aging population, the Ontario Association for Family Mediation commenced providing Elder Mediation Training in 2016 in order to increase capacity of our mediation community and eventual trainers. There are 120 hours required for the designation of Accredited Elder Mediator. The criteria are set out in your member portal and can be found here.
The weeks that have been chosen are also available in different communities so that a wider range of members can participate more easily. The dates and locations for 2016 are:
- June 20 - 24th, 2016 - Toronto
- August 8 - 12th, 2016 - Ottawa
- October 16 -20th, 2016 - Sudbury
Next year, the cities will change but the curriculum provided in weeks one, two and three will remain the same.