Elder Mediation: What's in a Name?

Lise Barry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As an emerging discipline, specialist elder mediation has been characterized by diversity, with developments in the field often driven by the needs of family members, caregivers, health professionals, and the legal fraternity rather than the consumer demands of the elderly themselves. In this environment, there is a danger that the voice of elders will be forgotten or marginalized. At its best, elder mediation can play an important role in giving voice to older participants and ensuring that their will and preferences take center stage. At worst, elder mediation could play a role in increasing the vulnerability of older people by providing a forum that gives only lip-service to their rights. The author urges the elder mediation movement to ask, "What's in a name?" and suggests that the term elder mediation is most properly considered an umbrella term referring to the specialist knowledge of the mediators and the obligation to accommodate the participation of older people in decisions that affect them. The author argues that mediators should be specific about the process they are providing under that banner and that one way this can be achieved is through careful naming of the practice and procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalConflict Resolution Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


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