Mediating Elder Law Issues

March 30, 2012

I attended a fascinating seminar yesterday presented by NJAPM on Mediating Elder Law issues.  Much like a divorce where family relationships add a layer of complexity to the legal issues, elder law issues may involve multiple generations and many family members.  Usually, the last thing the “elder” wants is for his or her family to fight over how to provide care for them.  Yet, the decisionmaking may be complicated by geography, economics, family history and emotions.

As a family mediator, it was clear to me that using mediation techniques to resolve elder care issues is far more beneficial to the entire family then starting a court case.  The last thing a parent or grandparent wants is to have their family fight over their care.  Not to mention the fact that court proceedings are costly.

 I learned that a mediator can bring a Geriatric Care Manager to the table to provide options.  Geriatric care managers with a background in nursing or social work are trained to investigate all the options — from home care to nursing homes — interview the elder to determine his or her preferences and make recommendations to the entire family. 

The benefits of mediating elder issues include minimizing conflict among family members;  valuing the concerns of all family members while focusing on the elder’s needs; and preserving assets by lowering the costs of resolution.  In addition, mediation will yield benefits in the future by improving communication among family members.

For more information on mediation, contact Risa A. Kleiner, Esq. at 609.951.2222 or at risa@rkleinerlaw.com


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