Elder Care/Adult Guardianship Mediation

This website offers Mediation services from two experienced Elder Law attorneys in the St. Louis area:

Martha C. Brown and Christine A. Gilsinan

Short biographies are provided on this website, and you can find even more information by visiting each individual website:

As Elder Law attorneys, we bring a different, holistic perspective to mediation, and we use a multidisciplinary approach to deal with the legal and non-legal problems of elders.

The Benefits of Elder Care/Adult Guardianship Mediation

Most Elder Care and Adult Guardianship mediation involves families. The conflict that has arisen because of Elder Care issues and/or Adult Guardianship issues are mostly from familiar relationships. In a court proceeding, which is an adversary proceeding, one side will win and one side will lose. In mediation, the process draws all the needs of all the parties, including the elder, and resolves the issues without the necessity of severing the real relationships between the parties. The end result is the conflict is resolved and all participants can resume their relationship with the elder and each other. That is not always the outcome when the matter is tried in a court of law.

An experienced mediator will note that it is not uncommon for family members to answer these questions differently.

  • Should Mom stay at home?
  • Should Mom go to an assisted living facility?
  • Should all of Mom’s money be spent on Mom’s care?
  • Should Mom make plans for a brother who has Down’s syndrome who has always lived with Mom?

All of these questions can be answered differently by various family members. When family members disagree, tensions build and family relationships begin to unravel. Often families deal with important and difficult decisions. In fact, family members often might not even discuss the situation. However, the crisis will eventually occur, requiring immediate action, in which tempers will flare and conflict will rise. Some family members will seek the advice of an attorney, who will recommend immediate court action. However, mediation can benefit the family members. If family members use an experienced neutral Elder Care Mediator, families can come together in a confidential setting to discuss their concerns and/or issues and hopefully resolve issues concerning the care of family members. Using a mediator can be a less expensive option than the matter proceeding in the court room. During mediation, information is gathered, decisions can be made involving all family members and a resolution of the conflicting goals and priorities of the various family members are made. When a family decision is made, conflict is lessoned.

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