Back to RJ Archive

Mediation in cases of elder abuse and mistreatment: The case of university windsor mediation services

Smyth, Gemma
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues: Vol.30 121-147

Mediation in cases of elder abuse and mistreatment is increasingly employed in
North America to resolve conflicts that disproportionately affect older adults. The
attendant dangers of mediation in these cases requires awareness of and sensitivity to
issues facing older adults and their families, including elder abuse, ageism, and
consent and capacity. This article charts the introductory stages of an elder
mistreatment mediation project started through a law school-based mediation clinic.
Responding to expressed local need, the project developed an Intake Guide that
attempts to balance the autonomy of the older adult with safety screening. The model
employs an interdisciplinary approach, with specialist social workers acting as
advocates throughout the process. Lessons learned from the project include: the
importance of training; the need for flexible approaches to mediation; the importance
of a specialized intake and screening tool; the benefits of interdisciplinary, strengthsbased
approaches; and the centrality of collaborative community relationships to
ensure program sustainability.


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now