What is elder mediation?
Roles and needs change within families as we age.
As we grow older, our needs and roles change. Ageing can impose physical and emotional stresses on elders and their loved ones. These problems are not usually capable of being sorted out by social care workers, doctors and lawyers alone.
Elder Mediation provides an opportunity for the elder and all concerned members of their family to create a thoughtful plan for a more supportive future.
Also, family dynamics become complicated.
As family members age, family dynamics can often become more entrenched and complicated. As a young family, Mum and dad were the ones in charge. As children become parents and grandparents themselves, their sense of their place within their first family inevitably changes.
Some conflicts exist below the surface, yet can boil up and make family conversations very difficult. Siblings, dealing with differences in their own geographic, economic and immediate family structures can find working together to help their ageing parents to be challenging. Thoughtful decision making can seem all but impossible.
Caregiving by a family member will often lead to burnout. It requires difficult conversations between the caregiver and the care receiver, and with others in the family. Health and financial concerns are also issues that will lead to all family members weighing in with their views We hear often from caregiving family members about a sibling who makes occasional visits to their parent. Unintentional as they are, the problems this “swooping” can cause relationships to deteriorate. While families may want to share their responsibilities and resources, doing so in ways that are perceived as fair to then all is critical.
As mediators trained in elder issues, we can facilitate family discussions about matters relating to safety, finances and capabilities while keeping in mind the elder family member’s needs.
Who the clients are in elder mediation.
The elder family member themselves may get in touch with us first. Their adult children or grandchildren may also be first in touch. Sometimes, it may be just one of the family members who we hear from.
Who first contacts us isn’t as important as who takes part in the mediation. All stakeholders should be invited to take part, but a majority of them are essential if any decision is going to be accepted. This may include the elder member, but the elder member may also choose to leave any decision-making to others.
Why Start Mediation's elder service is special.
Our solicitor-mediators have not only trained in the distinctly different family mediation and civil mediation models, but have also undertaken Elder Decisions’ unique elder mediation training in the USA.
Elder mediation deals with matters relating to eldercare, gerontology and estates. It can help facilitate family discussions about matters relating to a senior family member’s safety, finances and capabilities while keeping in mind their desire for independence, respect and control.
Through our in-depth training, we are able to tailor the mediation process to suit those family members who live either close to one another or many miles apart. We might also recommend the involvement of: a solicitor specialising in elder law; a private social worker specialising in elder care; or a financial planner.
Common Elder Problems
- Family communication.
- Care home disputes.
- Future care options.
- Living arrangements.
- Decision making processes.
- Including the elder’s voice.
- Family members’ roles and responsibilities.
- Power of Attorney appointment.
- Caregiver burnout.
- Day-to-day needs such as driving, finances and bill paying.
- Personal property distribution.
- Medical and end of life decisions.
- Planning and anticipating issues before crises develop.
- Inheritance, Estate and Trust matters
Why you need a MIAM.
If you want to make a family court application, chances are you'll need a MIAM certificate to show that you've met with a mediator. MIAM is short for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. MIAMs can only be conducted by specially accredited family mediators.
Maybe you want a MIAM but can't find a local mediator who can meet with you soon enough. Or you can't afford to take time off from work to visit a mediator. Well, you can meet with us over Skype video. All you'll need is a computer, tablet or smartphone with a webcam, a reliable Internet connection and somewhere private to take our video call.
We were the first mediators to offer an online MIAM service in 2012. It's understandable that we've gained a certain amount of expertise in understanding how to set up online consultations, as well as experience in delivering them.
How to get started
You are welcome to call us for a confidential chat. Or to speed things up, you can fill in our confidential online form (or download a form in PDF format to fill in by pen if you prefer). Your online form will provide important information about you and your problem or dispute. Once we have it, we'll get in touch with you to arrange your online appointment. We'll send you instructions explaining how to prepare.
What happens at a MIAM?
At your appointment time, you'll need to be in front of your computer or mobile device. One of our mediators (who will also be a non-practising solicitor) will video call you. We'll provide legal information and guidance about court and your other potential options. We'll help you understand how these work, how long they take and how much they cost. If you decide you don't want to mediate, we'll send you a MIAM certificate to enable you to go to court.
How much does it cost?
Each private confidential consultation costs £120. There's no VAT and no hidden extras. So it includes any initial confidential phone chat you might have with one of our accredited mediators, your online appointment with an accredited mediator and any follow up letters, emails and phone calls with you (and the other person). And of course it includes your MIAM court certificate should you want one.
What happens next?
If you decide you would like to try mediation, we'll offer to get in touch with the other person, inviting them to a similar meeting. Mediation can only start if both of you are willing to mediate. If you decide you don't want to mediate, we'll send you a MIAM certificate immediately by email to enable you to make a court application.