Code of Professional Conduct
for Mediators Specializing in Issues of Aging
Last update: June 2015
Family Mediation Canada
Mediation PEI Inc.
Alzheimer Foundation of PEI
Ontario Association for Family Mediation
Mediator’s Institute of Ireland
The Mediation Association of Switzerland
Elder Mediation Australasian Network
Elder Mediation International Network
People are invited to use the document - please quote the source.
Ongoing input is encouraged and welcomed.
A copy of the latest version is available on the Downloads section of the site.
Call for Translators - Can you help us?
EMIN aims to promote Elder Mediation and inspire excellence in its practice throughout the world. Our Code of Professional Conduct has a key role to play in educating people about Elder Mediation and ensuring the highest ethical and professional standards in our work. We need to get the message out there to families and professionals throughout the world. To date the Code has been translated into French, German and Mandarin. Our aim is to have the Code translated into as many languages as possible so that families throughout the world can find out about and benefit from Elder Mediation.We are a voluntary organisation and we need to get this work done for free. EMIN would be in a position to make an EMIN Award to translators who complete this project on a pro bono basis in recognition of the time, skill and commitment involved.
If you are interested please contact Helen Harnett at Helen@laterlifemediation.com.
In the early 1990’s a group of passionate, caring people known for their commitment to families and organizations addressing issues of aging learned that the service of elder mediation was helping families resolve unmet needs. Consistently, evaluations from families who used the service reported how mediation had heightened awareness of situations, improved family communication and stimulated more involvement and support from previously uninvolved family members. Puzzled families would lament, “Why haven’t we heard of this sooner?”
To the best of our knowledge, the Alzheimer Society of Prince Edward Island, Canada was the first Alzheimer Society in the world to offer in house mediation, with their Board of Directors mandating mediation as a core service in the late 1990’s. By that time, requests and inquiries were coming from across Canada and the United States for more information about how the service was delivered. In 1994 the Alzheimer Society of Canada brought this innovative service to the national agenda by hosting training on the subject at their National Convention. In 2007 Alzheimer Disease International hosted further training at their convention in Caracas, Venezuela. Other like minded organizations were challenged to consider promoting mediation as a valuable service to be utilized by families and professionals addressing age related issues. The need for professionally trained mediators with sensitivity to these issues was identified along with the need to develop a plan for a pilot certification process. As there was no elder mediation certification process in place, organizations reported being hesitant to refer for fear that the mediators would not be adequately trained or sensitive to the issues that might arise - especially with chronic illnesses and progressive dementias.
In the latter half of the 1990’s a strong partnership grew between Mediation PEI INC and the Alzheimer Society of PEI. Together they co-sponsored annual trainings for elder mediators as well as information sessions to families interested in learning about this service. A need to have a Code of Ethical Standards that would be specific to mediators working with issues of aging was identified by both of these organizations. I was invited to research the area, convene focus groups and begin the drafting of this necessary document. Before the work was completed, several international conference calls and meetings were held to discuss ethical questions and to invite contributions to this living document. The code was officially released in 2006. It was during the discussions of the Code that the need for an international network was identified and the Elder Mediation International Network was born.
In late 2007 I was contracted by the Alzheimer Foundation of PEI to update the code, to promote elder mediation and specific training opportunities, as well as oversee the groundwork that would lead to the development of a pilot certification process. I want to express my gratitude to Foundation Board members Eric Kipping and Murray Stevenson, the Alzheimer Society of PEI Board of Directors, and Mediation Prince Edward Island INC. I also want to give a very special thank you to four people who were instrumental in pioneering this effort: Elizabeth Reagh, Q.C., President of Mediation PEI INC.; Frank Bulger and Greg McCann-Beranger, both mediators and Past Presidents of Mediation PEI INC.; and President Lynn Loftus of the Alzheimer’s Society of PEI. Their vision, direction and determination to see this work through have spurred the resolve to share elder mediation with the rest of the world.
Elizabeth and Greg have been involved with this project every step of the way, and truly realize the depth of this work. On completion of this edition of the code, Elizabeth sent the following comments:
I wish to commend Judy McCann-Beranger and the many who gave input throughout the process for this absolutely professional job in putting together this most learned and informative code. I see the code as very user friendly. Not a line in the code, in my mind, has been written without input and considerable thought. This code has depth and breath and the experience of a good elder mediator behind it. MANY thanks for a job well done. Now we CAN share this with the world!
Elizabeth Reagh Q.C.
President Mediation PEI INC.
We thank all those who gave, and continue to give, their thoughts, input and time into this Code of Professional Conduct for Mediators Specializing in Issues of Aging.