This article was originally posted during October of 2006. That was a time when the Bush administration absolutely refused to talk with Iran. This outraged many Americans, including many mediators. Now, with the U.S. and Iran seriously talking, if not agreeing, it is appropriate and timely to wonder whether this example of "mediator activism," now 9 years ago, may have played a small part in encouraging the negotiations that have come to take place.
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to review a decision of the Supreme Court of Texas that enforced a pre-dispute arbitration clause in an agreement a patient signed with a nursing home pre-admission. After the patient died, her family sued the nursing home in state court alleging negligent care and wrongful death.
A Sugar Land nursing home dispute that arose after an elderly resident’s family was banned from a long-term care facility over a number of social media posts has reportedly been ordered to mediation. According to a complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas, Silverado Senior Living barred a woman’s two sons and daughter-in-law from the premises after the individuals refused to remove several photos and videos of their mother at the facility from their social media accounts.
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Zena Zumeta, long time mediator, trainer and former President of the Academy of Family Mediators, filmed as part of Mediate.com's 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.'
This article concerns the important decisions that often face caregivers or other family members concerning where an elder family member will live, the strong emotions that are evoked in families contemplating a possible elder move, the important questions that should be considered in considering a move, and how mediation can support families in having a productive discussion concerning this important, complex and highly emotional issue.
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.
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.
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.
When a loved one dies, dealing with the preparations for the funeral are more than enough. Your emotions are raw and this is a very difficult time. In addition to the funeral planning, you will also need to deal with the last will and testament left by your loved one. No one really wants to think about material things at this time but it is very important that you have a probate lawyer assist you with this process.
At the beginning of every mediation session, I am not sure which hat I will be wearing. Will it be the role of the poker player who is dealing for dollars? The priest who listens to his parishioners’ penitence? The bartender who tells stories? The judge who tells the parties what to do? The philosopher who shares thoughts about the way of the world? Some days I wear all those hats. Other days I might wear just one. As my experience over many years has developed, there is one hat that I find myself wearing more often -- the Village Elder.
Inheritance disputes can be difficult to resolve. They are tied up in a lifetime of emotions toward the deceased and every other claimant under the will, as well as personal and spousal expectations of monetary gain. Here are 10 tips and tricks that have helped with this kind of dispute.
The story of the Detroit bankruptcy mediation’s emerging “Grand Bargain” (as it has been dubbed in the media) is a fascinating case of many different groups working to protect their chosen interests. The bargain demonstrates how mediation allows parties to consider what they are willing to give in order to secure the things that matter most to them, and how traditional rivals may collaborate for a shared goal.
I read Ken Cloke’s newest book, “The Dance of Opposites” over the last weekend and then yesterday I attended an excellent training by my friends and colleagues at the IAM, Tracy Allen and Eric Galton at the United States District Court. They reminded me of a concept Tracy calls, “People Moving” as a means to getting the parties out of position that appears to be heading towards impasse or “stuck”. In essence, the concept is simple in both dancing and negotiating: if you stop moving, the dance is over.
Mediation can support families as they navigate the challenging issues and decisions associated with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Through productive discussions led by an experienced neutral mediator, mediators help family members explore each topic, share perspectives, gather information, reach consensus, and find their way forward.
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.
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?
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.
This simulation discusses multiple types of mediation. It gives an example of a foreclosure, community, marital, special education, elder, and landlord/tenant dispute. It was a submission to the ABA Dispute Resolution Contest by Child and Family Services.
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."
With the assistance of a mediator, preferably a certified mediator with either eldercare or healthcare experience, people are able to create unique solutions to problems. These unique solutions are not solutions typically implemented by judges. With mediation, solutions can be achieved without waiting weeks, months or years, and mediator fees are usually less than attorney fees. read
An Irish mediator has been recognised for her contribution to elder mediation at the Elder Mediation World Summit in Linz, Austria. Margaret Bouchier was presented with the The Sherren Award by the Elder Mediation International Network (EMIN), of which she is the ethics committee chair. read
Mediation may be the answer for elder care challenges. Mediation is a process where people in conflict privately, effectively and safely discuss their perspectives and proposed resolutions. Each family member’s perspective should be heard before crafting a plan. read
Are there any services that you know of that help families resolve caregiving conflicts? My mother — who just turned 82 — recently had a stroke, and to make matters worse, my two siblings and I have been perpetually arguing about how to handle her caregiving needs and finances. — Bickering Siblings read
While probate court judges routinely hold hearings and issue decisions, probate courts also offer mediation, a chance for the parties to resolve their disputes amicably and in a less formal setting. The state's probate court leadership is pushing for more cases to be resolved this way. read
Mediation can help siblings and relatives make sound decisions about how to care for an elderly family member because end-of-life care is a topic that many families do not discuss, says one expert. read
Mediation, long considered to be an alternative to lengthy expensive divorce actions, can also be used in other contexts, notably where there is a dispute among adult children regarding frail, disabled and incapacitated parents. If there is anything that brings out old family conflicts like care for, abuse of, and costs relating to elderly parents, I do not know what it is. read
Families argue -- especially around the holidays. Overbearing in-laws, wayward teens, stepfamilies, elder care or antiquated parenting plans can turn a home into a war zone. While some situations are easily resolved, others can linger for months -- even years. Instead of allowing conflict to fester -- consider mediation. read
Will Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson face his estranged daughter Renee Benson across a mediation table in San Antonio? The question is the latest dispute in the Benson family feud. Renee Benson's lawyer said Tom Benson wants the option to skip mediation in their trust dispute in Texas and send representatives in his place. Renee Benson's legal team argues that the 88-year-old must participate in person. read
Retirement village dispute resolution could be improved soon, after a forum in Auckland last week found a gap in the system. The outcome could be a beefed-up mediation process for the approximately 33,000 residents who live in a steadily rising number of villages, attempting to resolve issues faster between the owner/managers and the residents - and complaints might be able to be made online soon. read
Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his estranged daughter have agreed to work with a mediator on a possible settlement in the fight for control over the family's assets in Texas, lawyers for both sides said Monday (Oct. 19). read
The Nassau County Bar Association has launched a pilot program allowing parties in guardianship disputes to enter mediation, with mediators provided by the bar and an investment advisory firm. Through the pilot program, 20 court-referred cases will receive up to four free hours of mediation. If the parties do not reach a resolution during the four hours, they will have the option of paying for additional mediation for $300 per hour, which is the bar association's standard rate. read
Mom has Alzheimer's disease, your siblings refuse to talk to one another, and your kids are too busy to lend a helping hand. Somehow, all the caregiving duties have been left to you. What to do? Call an elder mediator. You may not have heard the term before, but, with an aging population, the emerging practice of elder mediation could soon become a staple in age-related care. read
Unlike traditional psychotherapy, which can take years to unearth entrenched problems, mediation is more focused on the present. The mediator does not advocate the viewpoint of any one person; rather, he or she acts as an impartial third party, helping resolve conflicts in ways that are acceptable to everyone. read
Two industries that significantly benefit from the mediation boom are hospitals and senior communities. There are a number of significant reasons that these industries are starting to take notice of mediation as a standard practice. read
A University of Missouri researcher has found that even if just one member of a couple stops driving, negative consequences result for both the driver and non-driver. The researcher recommends that the elderly, and their adult children, carefully discuss and plan for the transition to driving cessation. "These are complicated, difficult decisions, and mediation of the discussion can often be helpful.” read
Mom is growing older. Up to this point, she’s been driving by herself, but she is getting to the age when some family members are concerned about her safety. “It’s one of the big decisions that need to be made,” Iowa City-based mediator Laura Melton Tucker said. “When do (family members) put our foot down with mom and tell her we just aren’t comfortable with her driving anymore?” read
One or both parents requiring care can create serious stresses and conflicts within families. Sometimes disagreements and misunderstandings over elder care or inheritance issues can lead families to break apart, affecting descendants for generations. To avoid this, elder mediation is available to resolve family disputes that otherwise may go unaddressed or lead to costly and traumatic litigation. A successful resolution can preserve family ties to the benefit of the entire family tree. read
The American College of Civil Trial Mediators, a professional association, recently gave a cash award to Home Share Now for its efforts in home sharing mediation. The award came in support of applying dispute resolution in the alternative setting of facilitated home sharing. Home Share Now has facilitated the sharing of housing, such as by multigenerational housemates, since 2003. The organization said it views conflict resolution as the most important skill necessary for successful home sharing. read
The concept of filial piety carries such weight in society that it has even found its way into national legislation. The Maintenance of Parents Act states that any resident over the age of 60 who find themselves in difficulty can apply to a tribunal for their children to provide financial support. The process first involves attempts at conciliation under the Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents. If this fails, both sides then go for mediation, and failing that, a hearing before the tribunal. read