Mediation may be helpful for elderly individuals and their families in a variety of situations.
Estate and probate issues may result in expensive litigation. Early and effective mediation may result in savings of estate assets and prevention of family disputes.
Mediation may assist families for other difficult decisions not involving litigation. Situations for this type of family mediation involving an elder family member can arise out of living arrangements, necessary medical care, questions regarding the finances of the elder member and/or the family, and issues of health care directives and power of attorney arrangements.
An elderly family member may suffer from diminished capacity, which may make communication difficult and may interfere with critical decisions concerning health and safety. A mediator can help facilitate the family discussions.
The role of a mediator in this type of situation is to assist the family to create their own solution. This is done by helping all family members to be heard for their issues, assisting all family members to understand the concerns of the other family members, and helping to focus the discussion towards useful solutions.
Mediation can be a powerful tool to assist families in making difficult decisions. It may be necessary for the family to have legal, financial or health care advisors present to assist in specialized planning for some complex or difficult decisions.