Mediation is: Confidential Voluntary Flexible Generates options Preserves relationships Solves problems Common Issues for Mediation: Keeping the elder at home Where the elder should live Who the elder should live with Moving to assisted living or a nursing home The elder’s driving Spending habits Staying social Visits and communication Attendance at family functions Providing transportation Concerns about mental health Choosing a health care agent or power of attorney Medical Decisions Family roles and responsibilities Guardianship/conservatorship concerns Disputes with neighbors Resources: For more Information: aarp.org – search ‘mediation’ Do a web search for ‘elder law mediation mn’ Talk with your attorney http://mediate.com/articles/daniel sG2.cfm A Caregiver’s Guide to Mediation with the Elderly Solving problems, saving relationships, and avoiding court Video Links: Interview with an Elder Mediator http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A gcgSe8n37c What is Elder Mediation? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O YtjMhot8ZY A Brief Example of Elder Mediation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y FwLjUFaUQs Provided by: Content provided by Lindsay Case and the Elder Law Practice Group of the Legal Services Clinic of the University of St. Thomas. April 2, 2013. For the most current version visit: https://www.stthomas.edu/ipc/legal/elderlaw/links/ The Basics: What is Mediation? Mediation is a voluntary process that brings family and friends together with the elder to discuss their concerns in a neutral setting. The mediator is a specially trained third party who helps people communicate with each other more effectively. Mediation removes the winning and losing mindset of court and refocuses on people’s concerns and how to satisfy them. Mediation’s goal is to have the parties create a long-term solution that everyone agrees with. The mediator will not make decisions for you or the elder. Why Choose Mediation instead of Court? Court is often a slow process that requires parties to conform to the court’s schedule and rules. Many people have negative experiences in court because of the time, cost, and complexity of the process. Mediators are better able to work around your schedule, and the overall process can be less stressful. With mediation, you can resolve your conflict sooner and maintain control over the result. Mediation is also a great way to preserve relationships. If you are considering seeking guardianship over someone, that person is clearly important to you. Mediation is a private process with the goal of solving problems and guiding parties to solutions. Mediation can accommodate more than two ‘sides’ to the issue, so other friends and family can participate or provide support. Is Mediation Right for You? Many family disagreements are not best handled by a court. Consider how you would frame the issues you would like to discuss and who will attend the mediation. Mediation works with two individuals with one disagreement or an entire family with multiple disagreements. It’s best to talk with a mediator to determine if your situation is right for mediation. You should not consider a mediator as a substitute for legal representation. If your conflict is legal in nature, you should strongly consider bringing an attorney to the mediation. Tell the mediator right away if: You have any concerns about health or safety The elder has trouble communicating physically or cognitively The elder is more alert at certain times of the day How to Find a Mediator Mediators are just like other people - every one is different. Some mediators practice alone and others work in teams. There are private mediators and community organizations that offer mediation services. Community organizations often cost less than private mediators, but private mediators may have more specialized knowledge of your issues. If your conflict involves a specific area of law, you should ask mediators about their relevant training before choosing the best mediator for your situation. Getting Started! 1. Contact a mediator or mediation service 2. Talk with the mediator about the issues in conflict. 3. Ask what kind of experience they have and what you can expect from them. 4. If you’re comfortable, move forward with scheduling mediation.