Elder Mediation Articles
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.
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.
In Guthrie v. Guthrie, the validity of a divorce agreement was called into question due to one party's state of mind at the signing. A complicating issue was husband's death during the proceedings.
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.
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?
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.
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.
(2/15/13)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.
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 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.
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.)
(12/12/11)Stephanie West Allen
Body posture influences quantitative estimates. We predicted that people would make smaller estimates while leaning slightly to the left than they would while leaning slightly to the right, and this prediction was borne out by our results.
(4/25/11)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?
(4/11/11)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.
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.
I have been noticing more articles on elder-care mediation and found this one interesting and wanted to pass it along to everyone
(12/27/10)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.
(9/13/10)David D. Stein
Apparently there is a nationwide upswing in divorce amongst an older demographic. This phenomenon is being called “Grey Divorce”.
(8/09/10)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.
(3/15/10)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."
I recently was involved in a case involving an elder with dementia that is a wonderful case study and a great example of the benefits of an early intervention/facilitated family meeting. The names and some of the facts have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.
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.
The present case comes as the U.S. Congress considers the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2009. This Act would render pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts unenforceable.
(10/26/09)Susan Curcio M.A.
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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.