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Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business

Adult Resolutions & Mediation Services (ARMS)

Adult Resolutions & Mediation Services (ARMS) is an innovative project which addresses the specific decision making needs of older adults and their families to improve quality of life and care choices. Recognizing the unique issues, transitions, and potential for complex shared-decision making among family members, ARMS provides professional advanced training and workshops to promote the use of conflict resolution, conflict management and mediation throughout communities and workplaces.

ARMS exists to give people a voice and choices in their quality of life and care decision-making to the fullest extent possible, regardless of age or disability. Through easily accessible consumer education resources, advanced mediation and professional training programs, building coalitions and better working relationships among multidisciplinary service providers supporting elders and their families, ARMS achieves its primary goals. 

Information and Resources

Under construction. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is elder family mediation? 

Elder family mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which participants with concerns or disagreements, with the assistance of a neutral third party, can clarify the issues, discover realistic options and consider alternatives to achieve mutually satisfying outcomes. The goal of mediation is to give participants the opportunity to better understand each other's perspective, needs and preferences through effective communication, negotiation, and decision-making. Participants can often restore and preserve their relationships, reduce stress, and make decisions they can live with. Further, mediation-friendly attorneys can assist their clients in protecting rights while helping to reduce the time and costs of lengthy litigation. 

Who is involved in elder mediation? 

Participants in mediation typically involve some combination of an elder and/or an elder's surrogate (e.g., a conservator or a lawyer), support person, family members, caregivers, and consultants such as care managers, financial advisors, and medical experts. 

What type of situations can be mediated? 

Mediation can be effective in situations involving decisions about conservatorship, financial power of attorney, caregiving responsibilities for a vulnerable family member, preferred agent for health care decisions and directives, planning distribution of assists, medical treatment, planning ahead for shared decision making that focuses on needs, choices and preferences, living arrangements, driving, relationship dynamics, and other changing needs are all types of situations that can be mediated. 

Where can I find a mediator? 

There are many different ways to find mediation services. Private mediators work on a fee for service daily or hourly rate and sliding scale basis. There are public community mediation programs that provide trained volunteer mediators for free or on a sliding scale basis.

What things should I consider before choosing mediation to resolve my conflict? 

First, you should decide what you want from mediation, then get a list of local mediators, review the mediator's qualifications and competence which may include work and education background, years of mediation experience, advanced elder mediation training; interview some mediators by asking helpful questions to better understand the process each mediator will provide and finally evaluate the information you collected and make your decision. Mediation is voluntary and the consumer can choose to participate or not. 

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