Elder Mediation



Elder mediation

As people grow older, families may need to discuss issues relating to caregiving, finances or capabilities. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, these discussions can sometimes become emotionally charged, leading to misunderstandings and crumbling relations. Wandsworth Mediation Service (WMS) supports families in conflict by offering free inter-generational mediation to older members of the family and those who care for and about them.

What is mediation? 

Mediation is a process where people in conflict come together to hold a difficult conversation, assisted by two trained mediators who lead the discussion. The mediators do not take sides or tell people what to do. Instead, they act as neutral guides, helping those in conflict get the issues out in the open and develop mutually agreeable solutions.

Benefits of inter-generational mediation:

-           It is confidential: things that are discussed at mediation are not shared with anyone outside the process.

-           It is highly effective: the vast majority of cases are settled during the first meeting.

-           It is completely free for Wandsworth residents.

-           It puts the participants in control of all agreements made.

What types of problems can be mediated?

In every case we mediate, we make sure that the senior citizen’s wishes and needs are respected. Some of the things that mediation can help with include:

-           Communication breakdown,

-           Disagreements over decision-making processes,

-           Issues around responsibilities and expectations,

-           Caregiving and financial issues

-           Legal issues (estate, power of attorney etc)

How does mediation work?

First meeting:

If your situation is appropriate for mediation and both parties agree to mediate, then the first meeting will be arranged. At the meeting each person involved in the conflict will meet the two mediators separately. The mediators will explain the process and listen to your view of the issues in dispute. After this, you’ll have a joint meeting where you, the other party and the mediators will sit together to discuss your differences.

Joint meeting

At the joint meeting, the mediators will help you identify the issues that need to be sorted out and work out the solutions. If you feel like you are unable to be in the same room with the other person(s) then we can arrange for you to be sat in different rooms or have the meeting online, via a videoconference call. At the end of the meeting, the mediators will write a summary of the session which will outline what has been discussed and any agreements made. This session summary is not legally binding and does not affect legal rights, but is made in good faith between both individuals with the hope that things will change going forward. We will contact both parties after several weeks to find out how things are since the joint meeting. We may suggest meeting again if both parties feel this could help.