When Summit County Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer took office in January 2013, she declared her intention to use mediation as one means of resolving disputes brought to her court. Judge Stormer developed a mediation program, and longtime Akron attorneys William Dowling and Douglas Godshall were appointed as court mediators. Concluding its first year of operation, the mediation program has proven to be a success, enabling the parties involved to resolve numerous disputes without the need for lengthy litigation and court trials. read
For baby boomers, divorce has almost become, like marriage, another rite of passage. The post-World War II generation is setting new records for divorce: Americans over 50 are twice as likely to get divorced as people of that age were 20 years ago. But just because it's more common, doesn't mean it's not still painful. read
These days, marriage is more of a long-term lease than a forever sentiment. That’s because according to the latest reports on divorce statistics, more Americans age 50 and up are divorced than widowed – and that’s the first time since 1990. A recent article published at The New York Times tells us that divorce rates among those 50 and older has grown in the last fifty years from 2.8 percent to 15.4 percent. read
Gina Rinehart, after failing to persuade an Australian judge to have a family dispute over a multibillion-dollar trust resolved by an arbitrator, won her bid for a final mediation attempt. Supreme Court Justice Patricia Bergin in Sydney today dismissed Rinehart’s bid to stop the trial and refer the dispute to arbitration. Bergin granted Rinehart’s request for mediation, to be held before Sept. 26, and if the dispute isn’t resolved the judge scheduled a five-day trial to start Oct. 8, a week later than originally planned. read
A hot issue percolating among the states is whether a clause in a will or trust requiring alternative dispute resolution — usually arbitration — should be enforced by the courts. While initially courts appeared to frown on such provisions, the trend has shifted recently, particularly with a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court upholding such a clause. read
7/30:More winning financial support from children through mediation
More parents are resorting to mediation to get financial assistance from their children. Last year, 303 cases were handled by the Office of the Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents, which arranges for the mediation, up 13 per cent from 269 in 2010. read
6/26:Elder Mediation: Where to turn when family meetings become fights
Making care decisions for elders is often a long-term process requiring a series of discussions. Getting everyone to the table ensures the family is 95 percent of the way to a solution. Mediators can support families in avoiding unproductive fights and creating workable solutions to parents’ care needs. read
5/29:WISE & Healthy Aging Launch New Elder Care Mediation Service
A valuable new service called Elder Care Mediation has just become available at WISE & Healthy Aging, thanks to a collaboration between the Santa Monica-based non-profit social service agency for seniors and the non-profit Center for Civic Mediation of Los Angeles. read
5/23:GiveForward partners with Medical Bill Mediation to help families reduce high medical bills
GiveForward, a crowdfunding leader helping families and friends raise money for a loved one's medical bills, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Medical Bill Mediation of the Karis Group, Inc., a service which helps patients consolidate and reduce their healthcare bills. This alliance stems from both organizations' shared mission of empowering patients to face the rising cost of healthcare in America. read
5/20:State Supreme Court Mandates Arbitration in Nursing Home Death Case
The Florida Supreme Court recently made it more difficult for the families of wrongful death victims to have their cases heard in court. In February, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a mandatory arbitration agreement signed by an elderly nursing home patient extended to, and was binding on, his estate and heirs. Many states refuse to enforce binding arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts, as they can be unconscionably biased in favor of the nursing home, but the justices refused to make such a declaration in this case. read
Elder Divorce Mediation (1/17/14) Dr. Lynne C. Halem As the remaining baby boomers turn 50 this year, we continue to see a significant increase in divorce and separation among the general population of those in that 50-plus age bracket.
To Move or Not To Move an Elder (12/06/13) Halee Burg This article concerns the important decisions that often face caregivers or other family members concerning where an elder family member will live, the strong emotions that are evoked in families contemplating a possible elder move, the important questions that should be considered in considering a move, and how mediation can support families in having a productive discussion concerning this important, complex and highly emotional issue.
The Gray Divorce (5/25/13) Denise Tamir Though the fact that divorce has become more common and less of a stigma has some impact, that does not explain why the gray divorce rate is climbing while the general divorce rate is going down. Denise Tamir suggests a few contributing factors. 3 Comments
AudioBlog: Transforming Difficult Decision Making In Elder Care Planning (4/22/13) Patricia Porter Families today are assuming responsibility for the informal care of over 75 percent of elderly family members and are often faced with difficult decisions from a bewildering array of choices: e.g. estate planning, financial issues, and guardianship. In the best of circumstances, this can be a stressful process and sometimes leads to disagreements, confusion, and conflict at a time when the best intentions of the family are to work together for the needs of a loved and respected aging family member.
AudioBlog: Elder Mediation: Family Disputes Over Caregiving (3/29/13) Patricia Porter When families are faced with the long-term care arrangements for their aging parents and relatives, feelings of resentment, anger and jealousy that have festered since childhood often create new problems as families learn to cope and prepare for the road ahead. Instead of working together, families can get stuck placing blame.
Facing a Divorce Later in Life? (3/29/13) Dick Price It has become noticeable that Baby Boomers and even older people are starting to experience a significant number of divorces. Couples married for 20 to 40 years are getting divorced.
Elder Mediation - Video (4/18/12) JK Belz Video where the owners of JK Belz Mediation and Crowley Legal Solutions discuss the mediation process.
The owners also discuss their focus: elder mediation.
The State of Community Mediation (3/19/12) Justin Corbett The National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) has released its much-anticipated new report: The State of Community Mediation. This fieldwide assessment is the most comprehensive in nearly a decade, and includes many never-before reported statistics detailing the size, scope, and impact of the the community practice area.
What's Your Generation? (12/12/11) Phyllis Pollack The second issue of ADR Times Perspectives (Vol. 1, No. 2, Nov. 2011, hit my e-mail inbox the other day. Having enjoyed the first issue, I eagerly thumbed through this second issue and found an interesting article by Jasper Ozbirn entitled “Generational Gaps in the Workplace” (at pages 8-9.) According to its author, the purpose of this article is “. . .to provide the briefest of primers on how generational differences can play out in the workplace to create a conflict.” (Id.)
Precious Life: Just Hold On (8/09/10) Jan Frankel Schau I had a challenging mediation last week when I was asked to mediate a Conservatorship of an elderly lady, whose two living children could not agree upon the appropriate care for her and could not bear to be in the same room together--leading to an awkward visitation schedule. As a consequence, neither son was "holding on" and both feared she would die alone.
Elder Mediation (3/29/10) Jeff Thompson Not sure if anyone saw this in the Wall Street Journal, but recently there was an article in it on Elder Mediation in California.
Mediation For Seniors (1/05/10) Norman Pickell As seniors grow older, decisions often need to be made about where to live, should the senior continue to drive, how should financial affairs be managed and what kind of medical care is appropriate. These are tough emotional decisions often requiring difficult conversations within a family.
Elder Mediation Matters: Probate, Guardianship and Family Care-giving (10/26/09) Susan Curcio M.A. Conflict associated with estate matters, adult guardianship and family care-giving can tear families apart. Present decisions regarding an aging family member can be influenced by past history. More families will be faced with difficult choices as the population ages in growing numbers. Elder Mediation offers the opportunity to avoid going through the court system which can be costly, time-consuming and divisive. A skilled Elder Mediator can help participants focus on the future and arrive at creative solutions. 2 Comments
The Big Picture (8/31/09) Phyllis Pollack In late May 2009, I flew back to my childhood home to help my siblings move our mother into an assisted living facility. As she had been living in the family home for close to sixty years, it was the move from *!!##*##!!*, to say the least.
Elder Mediation (7/27/09) Georgia Daniels This article introduces Elder Mediation to potential consumers and referral sources. It uses an example of a typical conflict to show how the outcome could be different with mediation, and walks the reader through the usual stages of an elder mediation, using a facilitative model. 3 Comments
Success Leaves Clues: A Profile Of Elder Decisions (6/22/09) Tammy Lenski “There is a great deal of opportunity to create a niche in your community once you have the training and if you are willing to put in the time to market your practice and develop the network of referrals you will need in order to grow,” say Arline Kardasis and Rikk Larsen of Elder Decisions, which scored a major marketing success with National Public Radio in April.
Care-Full Conversations: Elder Mediation And Family Decision-Making (5/18/09) Susan Curcio M.A. Elder Mediation is a tool that can be used to facilitate difficult decisions for aging adults and their families. Issues regarding the health and safety of a loved one may involve legal and financial considerations which can cause family tensions. The role of the mediator is to assist families in arriving at their own solutions while preserving or improving relationships among the members. Opening the channels of communication may make the job of an attorney or financial adviser easier and more cost-effective.
Simulation: Elder Mediation - Video (5/03/09)
Elder Mediation-a Solution for Families at War (3 minutes) looks at a
typical family conflict over the care of an aging parent, and shows how a
mediator can help bring disputing siblings together to work out a solution.
This brief video illustrates how a court battle can be avoided through using
mediation. A vulnerable senior's choices and quality of life are at stake
in this volatile battle for control between his adult children.
How Elder Mediators Differ from Other Eldercare Specialists (12/01/08) Debbie Reinberg The use of mediation in elder/adult family conflicts is still a rather new concept. Other eldercare professionals may seem threatened by the arrival of yet a new specialty group marketing to the same “boomer” population. There are certainly areas of overlap between elder mediators and elder law attorneys, geriatric care managers, and psychotherapists, yet there are also clear distinctions. And, there are many appropriate referrals to be made back and forth. 1 Comment