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Elder-Care Mediation Expands, Some Embarrassed To Admit It

by Jeff Thompson
December 2010

From Jeff Thompson's Enjoy Mediation Blog

Jeff Thompson

Thanks to @Dialogicmed on Twitter for pointing out this article.
I have been noticing more articles on elder-care mediation and found this one interesting and wanted to pass it along to everyone.


By Sandra G. Boodman
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The elderly man became increasingly alarmed as the battles among his five grown children grew acrimonious.

His two daughters, worried that he wasn't taking proper care of himself, wanted him to move to a retirement community. His three sons balked, insisting that he was managing fine in his own home. At a family meeting their father made this jarring announcement: I'm nearing the end of my life, and you are making me so unhappy that it might be easier if I killed myself and ended the fighting.

His threat shocked the warring siblings into resolving their dispute, according to lawyer Karolyn Blume of Arlington, who was present at the meeting. Blume did not represent any of the parties but served instead as a new kind of geriatric specialist: an elder-care mediator.

I found this part interesting too:
While mediators say the demand for their services is growing - "Everyone tells me, 'I know someone who could really use you,' " one said - many participants are reluctant to discuss their experiences. None of the six mediators interviewed for this story - or others contacted through an e-mail group list - was able to find a family willing to talk about the process.

Many clients feel "there's a negative connotation to mediation," said Massachusetts mediator Rikk Larsen, who says families may be embarrassed that they are unable to make decisions on their own and need to hire a professional to help them.

Read the full article [HERE].

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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