Mediation is the process of bringing two or more parties together who are seeking to resolve a conflict. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between the parties and help them discover a solution . The mediator’s job is not to solve the problem or impose a solution. . The process is completely voluntary and any of the parties can withdraw at any time.
Mediation can be very helpful in dealing with issues that adult children and their elderly parents face every day. Is it time for the parents to sell their home and move into an assisted living facility? Which child should provide care if a parent wants to stay in their home? How much care does a parent need? Is there disagreement among siblings as to what to do?
A good mediator will not place blame or responsibility on any one party in the mediation. Through a process of asking questions and soliciting discussion the mediator will help the parties come up with a solution that works for them. The mediation will not work unless all parties agree that the solution is appropriate.
In the past most mediation was done only by attorneys. A new field is developing now which allows professionals from other fields such as Geriatric Care Managers, Financial Planners and Clinical Social Workers to become mediators. Each state has specific requirements for individuals to be classified as mediators. Check with your local senior center, council on aging or the internet to find mediators in your area.