Family mediation is a cooperative approach to preventing or resolving family conflicts and can assist older people to make plans and decisions which protect their interests, rights and safety, now and in the future.
People over 65 years of age and members of their family are invited to voluntarily participate in one or more free, confidential family mediation sessions. Family mediation can be beneficial when older people and/or their family members need to have difficult conversations, or make decisions about the older person’s present or future living arrangements, care plans or financial arrangements.
Researchers from the University of South Australia and Flinders University, in partnership with professional mediators in community organisations, are conducting mediation trials to develop a family mediation model which will assist older people and their families to make plans to protect older people’s finances and assets.
The project involves collaboration between Relationships Australia SA, Office of the Public Advocate, Guardianship Board, Alzheimer’s Australia SA, Department for Families and Communities (Disability Ageing and Carers Branch), University of South Australia and Flinders University and is funded by the Australian Research Council.
If you choose to participate you will be invited to do the following:
1.tUndergo an initial meeting with a mediator to determine if mediation is appropriate in responding to your needs.
2.tIf mediation is deemed to be appropriate, you will then be invited to participate in one or more mediation sessions with members of your family. The mediator will act as an impartial third party who controls the way that participants communicate, make decisions or resolve their conflicts and ensures that people are treated with respect and each person’s voice is heard.
3.tComplete a brief evaluation after each mediation session.
If the older person is unable, or does not wish to participate in the family meeting he/she can be represented by a family member or friend, or may choose to attend with a support person. Please note the mediation sessions are free and will not cost you or your family members any money.
The information collected will be confidential and will be used to help evaluate a range of ways to protect the best interests, rights and safety of older people, as well as evaluate ways to ensure that vulnerable older people have a voice (directly or indirectly) in the mediation process.
How can you make an appointment?
Please ring: The Office of the Public Advocate (8342 8200 or country callers 1800 066 969) or Relationships Australia (8223 4566 or country callers 1800 182 325) or Braes Mediation Solutions, Millicent (0417 821 830).