Owner of this Blog quoted in Lawyers USA article on Elder Mediation

A recent article in the Lawyers USA newspaper discussed the growing use of elder mediation to resolve family disputes. The article quoted several practitioners of elder mediation, including the owner of this weblog, on their practice specialties and the use of elder mediation as part of an elder law practice when family disagreements arise.

One practitioner, Penny Hommel, Co-Director of the Center for Social Gerontology in Michigan, said that it is critical for the elder to actively participate in the mediation process:

Some people have come into the field who don’t have an understanding of the importance of elderly people having a voice. Some adult children say it will be too upsetting for Mom or Dad, so we’ll have this discussion ourselves. But Mom or Dad needs to be part of the discussion. I feel very strongly about this.

Janet Mitchell, a solo elder lawyer and mediator from Indiana, pointed out some advantages of mediation over litigation:

Parents are better able to maintain their dignity in mediations than in court proceedings. And mediations can Improve family relationships. Good solutions come from healthy conversations, not from arguing.

The article also noted that the requisite skills to successfully conduct an elder mediation are not the same as the skills needed for other kinds of mediation, pointing out that elder mediation is often more emotionally ladened than other types of mediation, requiring more patience, compassion and facilitative skill.

The Lawyers USA article can be found here: lawyersusa-fighting-for-control-over-mom-and-dad