The Gray Divorce
Though the fact that divorce has become more common and less of a stigma has some impact, that does not explain why the gray divorce rate is climbing while the general divorce rate is going down. Denise Tamir suggests a few contributing factors.
AudioBlog: Transforming Difficult Decision Making In Elder Care Planning
Families today are assuming responsibility for the informal care of over 75 percent of elderly family members and are often faced with difficult decisions from a bewildering array of choices: e.g. estate planning, financial issues, and guardianship. In the best of circumstances, this can be a stressful process and sometimes leads to disagreements, confusion, and conflict at a time when the best intentions of the family are to work together for the needs of a loved and respected aging family member.
Signing Arbitration Contracts on Admission to a Nursing Home – Who Is Bound?
As our population ages, more and more people are being admitted to nursing homes at or near the end of their lives. But when a person is admitted to a nursing home and they sign a contract agreeing to arbitrate any disputes arising out of the care they receive, should their heirs and the estate be bound by that contract?
AudioBlog: Elder Mediation: Family Disputes Over Caregiving
When families are faced with the long-term care arrangements for their aging parents and relatives, feelings of resentment, anger and jealousy that have festered since childhood often create new problems as families learn to cope and prepare for the road ahead. Instead of working together, families can get stuck placing blame.
Facing a Divorce Later in Life?
It has become noticeable that Baby Boomers and even older people are starting to experience a significant number of divorces. Couples married for 20 to 40 years are getting divorced.
A Survey of Public Awareness of Elder Mediation In Northeast and Central Ohio
John Bertschler, Patricia Bertschler
As private practitioners in the field of mediation over the past fifteen years, we have struggled along with our professional colleagues nationwide to increase public awareness of alternative dispute resolution, particularly mediation. We have been gratified to see awareness grow due to the work of many individuals and professional advocacy groups, as evidenced by this survey.
Elder Mediation - Video
Video where the owners of JK Belz Mediation and Crowley Legal Solutions discuss the mediation process.
The owners also discuss their focus: elder mediation.
The State of Community Mediation
The National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) has released its much-anticipated new report: The State of Community Mediation. This fieldwide assessment is the most comprehensive in nearly a decade, and includes many never-before reported statistics detailing the size, scope, and impact of the the community practice area.
In the growing area of elder mediation, which now includes mandatory mediation of adult guardianship issues in British Columbia, a new report calls for mediation practice guidelines, training and ethical standards. The report from the Canadian Centre for Elder Law emphasizes the heightened sensitivity and skill needed by mediators. Ethical issues include determining whether parties have the capacity to participate meaningfully in mediation, the need for legal representation and questions of abuse and neglect.
Canadian Lawyer Legal Feeds (January 16, 2012)
What's Your Generation?
The second issue of ADR Times Perspectives (Vol. 1, No. 2, Nov. 2011, hit my e-mail inbox the other day. Having enjoyed the first issue, I eagerly thumbed through this second issue and found an interesting article by Jasper Ozbirn entitled “Generational Gaps in the Workplace” (at pages 8-9.) According to its author, the purpose of this article is “. . .to provide the briefest of primers on how generational differences can play out in the workplace to create a conflict.” (Id.)
We Are Looking for One Good Town
Michael A. Zeytoonian
What if your entire town made an official commitment to practicing legal wellness, for one year? Or for that matter, your entire company? Or your mission-based organization? Or your family?
Foreclosure Mediation Comes to Bankruptcy Court?
Heather Scheiwe Kulp
The end of March marked the end of two madnesses: Connecticut’s journey to the championship and a foreclosure mitigation bill’s journey through the Senate Judiciary Committee. But the journey is over in only one court.
10,000 Boomers A Day Do Not Go Gently Into Retirement
Even before the recession I was asking anyone within shouting distance just exactly what the country was going to do when the largely bankrupt baby boom became the largest impoverished retired class the country has ever known.
Thinking Within The Box: Facilitated Dialogue Without The Need For Conflict
Jan Frankel Schau
My parents, 82 years young, are beginning to recognize that they want the input of their adult children in managing their lives: business investments, tax and estate planning, cooking, driving, traveling. This morning we took advantage of the holiday week to all gather together for breakfast and a business-type meeting.
At the conclusion of a mediation among family members which resolved a dispute over a trust, each party signed a settlement stipulation, with the siblings’ attorney signing for a sibling who participated only by telephone. The absent sibling later stated that he did not agree to the settlement, and his attorney scratched out his name. The trial court concluded that the signature of the absent sibling’s attorney was consistent with and indicative of the sibling’s agreement, and his attorney would not have signed the stipulation without authority. On appeal, the Colorado appellate court affirmed the lower court, concluding that the litigation was a derivative action on behalf of the trust, so there did not need to be unanimity among the settling beneficiaries as long as the settlement was just and reasonable.
Saunders v. Muratori, No. 09CA1645 (Colo. App., August 19, 2010)
Precious Life: Just Hold On
Jan Frankel Schau
I had a challenging mediation last week when I was asked to mediate a Conservatorship of an elderly lady, whose two living children could not agree upon the appropriate care for her and could not bear to be in the same room together--leading to an awkward visitation schedule. As a consequence, neither son was "holding on" and both feared she would die alone.
Not sure if anyone saw this in the Wall Street Journal, but recently there was an article in it on Elder Mediation in California.
ABA 2010 Mediation Video Contest Honorable Mention Videos
ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution announced the 2010 winners of its First Annual Mediation Video Contest. Honorable Mention was awarded to the following 3 videos:
"Mediation: Everyone's a Winner!", "Elder Mediation: A Solution For Families at War", and "Mediation Works."
Mediation For Seniors
As seniors grow older, decisions often need to be made about where to live, should the senior continue to drive, how should financial affairs be managed and what kind of medical care is appropriate. These are tough emotional decisions often requiring difficult conversations within a family.
Elder Mediation Matters: Probate, Guardianship and Family Care-giving
Susan Curcio M.A.
Conflict associated with estate matters, adult guardianship and family care-giving can tear families apart. Present decisions regarding an aging family member can be influenced by past history. More families will be faced with difficult choices as the population ages in growing numbers. Elder Mediation offers the opportunity to avoid going through the court system which can be costly, time-consuming and divisive. A skilled Elder Mediator can help participants focus on the future and arrive at creative solutions.
The Big Picture
In late May 2009, I flew back to my childhood home to help my siblings move our mother into an assisted living facility. As she had been living in the family home for close to sixty years, it was the move from *!!##*##!!*, to say the least.
This article introduces Elder Mediation to potential consumers and referral sources. It uses an example of a typical conflict to show how the outcome could be different with mediation, and walks the reader through the usual stages of an elder mediation, using a facilitative model.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland launched a pilot elder mediation program to assist families coping with dementia. Family members are often involved and affected by a relative with dementia and the new model of elder mediation services may help address the resulting stress and family conflict.
Irish Medical Times (June 22, 2009)
Success Leaves Clues: A Profile Of Elder Decisions
“There is a great deal of opportunity to create a niche in your community once you have the training and if you are willing to put in the time to market your practice and develop the network of referrals you will need in order to grow,” say Arline Kardasis and Rikk Larsen of Elder Decisions, which scored a major marketing success with National Public Radio in April.
Care-Full Conversations: Elder Mediation And Family Decision-Making
Susan Curcio M.A.
Elder Mediation is a tool that can be used to facilitate difficult decisions for aging adults and their families. Issues regarding the health and safety of a loved one may involve legal and financial considerations which can cause family tensions. The role of the mediator is to assist families in arriving at their own solutions while preserving or improving relationships among the members. Opening the channels of communication may make the job of an attorney or financial adviser easier and more cost-effective.
Simulation: Elder Mediation - Video
Elder Mediation-a Solution for Families at War (3 minutes) looks at a
typical family conflict over the care of an aging parent, and shows how a
mediator can help bring disputing siblings together to work out a solution.
This brief video illustrates how a court battle can be avoided through using
mediation. A vulnerable senior's choices and quality of life are at stake
in this volatile battle for control between his adult children.
How Elder Mediators Differ from Other Eldercare Specialists
The use of mediation in elder/adult family conflicts is still a rather new concept. Other eldercare professionals may seem threatened by the arrival of yet a new specialty group marketing to the same “boomer” population. There are certainly areas of overlap between elder mediators and elder law attorneys, geriatric care managers, and psychotherapists, yet there are also clear distinctions. And, there are many appropriate referrals to be made back and forth.
Mediation can be very helpful to preserve relationships among heirs who get into squabbles when dividing estates left by their loved ones. While conflicts can be minimized through proactive steps to make decisions and provide clear final wishes on disposition before death, there are also numerous techniques ranging from blind drawings to drawing cards that can provide processes for allocating assets that seem fair to all involved.
Toledo Blade (July 6, 2008)
A research report on an appropriate mediation model for long-term care facilities concluded that care could be improved by involving residents and families through mediation, but that intensive outreach is required within facilities. Many cases referred to mediation were not mediated due to barriers from lack of knowledge of potential benefits and availability. The report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.
Health & Medicine Week (August 4, 2008) (Subscription Required)
A pilot program to evaluate mandatory mediation in South Carolina probate courts has been joined by 35 of South Carolina’s 46 counties. A report on the success and cost effectiveness of the mediation program will be submitted to the South Carolina Supreme Court next January. A probate judge in a county which hasn’t yet joined the program is leaning toward participation, due to the benefit of families being able privately to work out solutions to their concerns with the help of a neutral mediator, but is concerned about delays and costs that might result from adding a mediation step to the process (even though those are often the very attributes of mediation that generate enthusiasm).
South Carolina Now (February 23, 2008)
Joshua N. Weiss
In this podcast Josh interviews Dr. Cathy Rodgers and Dr. Scott Mills, two generational negotiation experts. The three discuss the dynamics found in generational negotiations and some tips for how to manage them.
Families in Conflict: A Holiday Super-Challenge!
Jan Frankel Schau
The holidays present an extra special time of family conflict for so many of us. Children don't grow up expecting this as adults, but as I age I learn that our family is not alone in this dynamic. It's a time when expectations run high and memories deep. Last weekend, I took on an informal mediation between my husband and his mother to see if I could orchestrate a truce or at least change the dynamic between them so that next year may bring a less stressful holiday season. What I am...
Avoid Retirement and Stay Alive (Book Review)
New to the market, and having already reached number 1 in the New Zealand best-selling booklist for non fiction, Avoid Retirement and Stay Alive
is about conflict resolution on a much broader scale. It is about the conflicts attached to ageing. The authors lay down a provocative challenge to those of us of a certain age (dare I say that includes many CR and ADR practitioners?) and to the retirement industry in general.
Ethical Standards for Elder Mediation Symposium
You are invited to the First National Symposium on Ethical Standards for Elder Mediation, April 19-20, 2007 at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, PA. Find all the details at www.mediation-services.org.
This exciting 2-day event will feature Harry “Rick” Moody, Nancy Neveloff Dubler, Robert Baruch Bush and distinguished panelists from the fields of mediation, elder law, bioethics, geriatric ethics, geriatric medicine and social work. The Symposium will tackle...
Family Caregiver Mediation
This is the sequel to the my previous article on elder mediation. It explores family caregiver mediation. Caregiving is a rapidly increasing role for families, but it has been a popular topic of research for years.
As families begin to confront the decisions involved in how to best care for a loved one who no longer is able to live alone, who requires assistance with daily living, or requires medical care, family relationships are becoming increasingly strained. This is the first in a two-part series on mediation. What mediation means and how the parties in the mediation process resolve conflict.
Using Elder Mediation To Resolve Conflict Among Families, Seniors, And Organizations (Book Review)
The realities of Elder Care are almost an inevitable mine field that most people at some point in their lives will face. To mental health professionals, this concept is a virtual “given.” However, some of us in the field of mediation may not have yet stumbled upon this epiphany, that in dealing with Elder Care, people are dealing with “families, seniors and organizations.”
Elder Decisions in Elder Mediation
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Arline Kardasis, John Dugan
Elder mediation brings family members and professionals together to address the
major life changes inherent in the aging process. In these mediations, the
issues most families raise involve housing transitions, financial control, and
new and difficult conversations between parents and adult children. Through
skillful mediation, seniors and their families can gain control of what is
important to them and protect family relationships in the process.