The New York Times blog, “The New Old Age”, ran a piece today on Elder Mediation. The piece, “When The Family Needs an Umpire”, by Joshua Tapper, described several scenarios where elder mediation can help a family through challenges relating to aging loved ones.
The idea of a mediator as an “umpire” is not uncommon. But it is a misnomer. Umpires really do say who is right and who is wrong — did the runner beat the tag or not? Did both feet land in the endzone or not? Umpires are more like arbitrators; they do sit in judgment. Mediators, of course, do not: we help those in conflict to reach an agreement that works for them. We do not impose a decision on them.
But the title of the article is a small quibble. The article gives a nice overview of the growing field of elder mediation.