Our Family

Eldercare Mediation


Mutual discomfort with the troubling realities of aging can keep families from communicating. They are often unprepared for the emotions and disagreements that surface during difficult but important conversations about guardianship, financial planning, health care and end-of-life decisions. These disagreements can stand in the way of good decision-making about the care and well-being of an older person.

In mediation, families make decisions for themselves. It helps families preserve their relationships, which could be damaged if their dispute went unresolved or they ended up in court. Early mediation of conflicts between family, caregivers, health care providers and housing facilities can prevent hurt feelings, reduce stress, and help everyone work as a team.

Here are just a few of the eldercare issues that benefit from mediation:

  • Disagreements over where the older person should live
  • Resistance to moving or giving up decision-making authority
  • Conflict when different generations are living under the same roof
  • Disagreements about use of funds or disposition of property
  • Conflict over who is caring for the parent, how much, and how well
  • Disagreement whether an aging person is losing his ability to manage his affairs or his money, live alone safely, or drive a car
  • Conflicts with facility over patient/resident care
  • Family disagreements on who will have financial or health-care power of attorney

What does it cost?

Eldercare Mediation is $250 (up to 3 hours, which includes information-gathering and the mediation session itself.) Follow-up sessions or phone coaching are an additional $75/hour.

Mediations can be conducted at a location of your choice -- at home, in our offices, or in care facilities. Out-of-town family members may participate via conference call.

How do you get started?

Contact us at 323-1708 x 504 or mediation@ourfamilyservices.org. If mediation is deemed appropriate, you will be asked for a nonrefundable $50 deposit. Our staff will then gather information from you and secure agreement from everyone who will be participating before setting up a time and place for the mediation. Final payment is expected before the mediation.

Success of mediation depends on you coming prepared with good, current information upon which to make decisions. Before the mediation, you will be given a checklist of things to think about or options to research. These issues might include: available care options, what kind of care facilities you can afford, knowing who has power of attorney or guardianship, content of wills and advanced health care directives, etc. Our Family can provide links to assistance with some of these questions (such as housing placement options), but we do not provide legal or financial advice. Mediation can usually be scheduled within two weeks of your initial call.



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