Elder Mediation

What is Elder Mediation?

Elder mediation is mediation involving age-related issues. The private, informal, supportive and non-confrontational nature of mediation is particularly well suited to these types of discussions and to the older adults involved in them. The flexibility of the mediation process, in terms of where mediation sessions are held and who can participate, is also especially elder-friendly. Unlike more formal, legal processes which involve only the parties to the dispute (with others to a limited extent), a wide range of people may be included in the elder mediation process.

Mediation can be used to facilitate discussions or disputes that involve family members, caregivers and friends, that, while sometimes painful and disruptive, may or may not have immediate legal implications. The mediation process helps people maintain and strengthen their bonds that were broken.

Often, the source of disagreement lies beyond the immediate problem; here, mediation can be very beneficial. Through the patient and cooperative exploration of the underlying issues and the participation of family and friends, it may be possible to achieve a true and lasting resolution of even the most challenging situation. An older adult may also feel more supported and thus more inclined to actively participate in difficult or potentially contentious discussions if others (such as a friend, family members, a member of the clergy or a health care provider) are also involved in the process.

Elder Mediation Issues

Elder mediators are specially trained about, and sensitive to, the types of issues that are likely to arise for an older person, including:

  • health care planning and medical decisions
  • family business
  • driving
  • living and caregiving arrangements (at home, or in continuing care or long-term care communities)
  • religious issues
  • financial matters
  • relationship issues (including intergenerational relationships, blended families, new marriages)
  • end of life decisions
  • guardianship
  • abuse and neglect
  • estate planning
  • ageist issues
  • power of attorney questions

Elder Mediation Committee

The objectives of this Committee include

  • promoting the independence and well-being of older adults in Canada by encouraging the use of affordable mediation services
  • providing education, training and resources to elder mediators nationally
  • supporting the development of certification programs and standards for elder mediators nationally 
  • helping certified elder mediators maintain their skills through continuing education programs with a focus on developments that affect older adults
  • distributing information on aging-related topics, with a focus on the use of elder mediation, and
  • providing opportunities for networking and information sharing between elder mediators, and individuals and organizations interested in elder mediation.

Please contact our office at fmc@fmc.ca for a Elder Mediator Certification Application Form and a copy of the Elder Mediation Code of Ethics.

For more information about Elder Mediation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

To find a qualified Elder Mediator in your area, click here.

To contact the Elder Mediation Committee Chair: Judy McCann-Beranger please email judy@peopleconcepts.ca