mediationAs an elder loved one ages, one of the best ways to ensure that they receive the full care and support they need is to get all their caregivers on the same page. In an ideal situation, the whole family works together to decide on a solid care plan and to delegate responsibilities. But often the reality is far from ideal. Families are complicated, and many times they approach the challenges of elder care from different perspectives and with different opinions about what choices should be made. Tension runs high, and the results can be disastrous for both family relationships and the elder who needs care.

Rather than allowing relationships to deteriorate or disputes to lead to court battles, many families are seeking help from an elder care mediator. Elder care mediation is a method of conflict resolution in which a professional mediator facilitates conversation between opposing parties and leads them to resolution. Elder care mediators specialize in working with older adults and families who are in conflict over issues related to aging or disability such as health care decisions, use of financial resources, living facilities, and inheritance.

There are both emotional and financial advantages to seeking the help of an elder care mediator in resolving conflicts. Elder care mediation is personal, confidential, and informal, and it can occur anywhere, allowing families to resolve their differences in privacy. By avoiding court proceedings, the family maintains self-determination and saves money. They also avoid the stress and emotional damage of adversarial litigation. Valued relationships can be preserved or restored. And finally, through mediation families reach consensus, finding win-win situations that leave all the participants feeling satisfied.

Choosing the right mediator is a lot like choosing a good personal counselor. In a field that remains largely unregulated, it is necessary to check a mediator’s qualifications and ask for references before inviting their involvement in an already delicate situation. Many professionals who practice mediation are licensed in other professional fields such as law, social work, counseling, or care management.

At Elder Law of East Tennessee, Elder Law attorney Amelia Crotwell has undergone extensive training in family mediation as required by the Tennessee Supreme Court. She has also accrued twelve years of experience handling elder care matters and has earned nationally and state recognized certifications in Elder Law. To contact Amelia for more information about elder care mediation services, call 865-951-2410 or visit