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A process to help address concerns and resolve conflict between residents, their families and aged care providers to reach an agreement
It is a process that involves a professional, compassionate and skilled practitioner helping residents, their families and aged care providers who are in conflict to explore their options and reach agreements. The process is confidential and designed to help people communicate effectively, to focus on what is important to all arties and facilitate workable agreements.
Concerns can arise and these issues need to be responded to in a clear and transparent manner.
Issues may relate to disputes about:
Residents and families in these situations require the restoration of relationships for future day to day care and ensuring that there is no deleterious effect upon the older person.
Disputes need to be resolved through a process that is respectful and that does not escalate the situation. All parties will have their voice heard through this facilitated mediation process.
A request for a mediation can be generated by a family member, a facility representative or the resident. In an intrafamily dispute any family member can initiate contact.
The mediation process provides a safe forum for people in conflict to express their perspectives. Mediation is intended to provide those in conflict with an understanding of what has arisen and to move forward to a mutual agreement for agreed actions.
Aged Care mediation is a stepped process that is confidential and voluntary.
It commences with contact being made to the Better Place customer service. Through an intake process the service staff will asses the requirements and will confirm a Mediator contact.
The Mediator will then be in contact with each party to undertake an assessment of the situation and hear their story, this can be done by phone or in person. (Sometimes the situation is not appropriate for mediation, feedback will be provided by the Mediator on what would be a more appropriate service response.)
A joint mediation session is then scheduled between the parties. The Mediator will introduce and explain the process and state the expected ground rules to help the process move along smoothly.
Parties should not interrupt each other; the mediator will give each party the opportunity to fully share their side of the story.
The situation of the older person will be carefully considered as there may be frailty and capacity considerations. Better Place family consultants have a background in aged care. It may be that a party requires a support person to assist them. This will be discussed.
The mediator will ask the parties questions to establish the problem and the underlying issues. The mediator may restate issues to the parties and will summarize often. The issues form the basis for more effective negotiation and co-operative problem-solving. The topics are expressed in neutral and, whenever possible, mutual terms.
Parties are encouraged to focus on a topic for discussion or negotiation from the issues. The mediator encourages parties to communicate directly with each other. The parties’ interests and needs are further clarified.
Parties are provided with the opportunity to express opinions and give information privately to the mediator if they feel more comfortable doing so than in joint sessions. The private meeting can also assist parties to prepare to negotiate, generate options and ensure that proposals are realistic.
Towards the end of the joint session when options for resolution have been identified the mediator facilitates final negotiations and fine-tuning of the agreement. The final agreement is intended to diffuse the conflict and provide a new basis for future relations.
The agreement is not legally binding. Feedback to the organisation may be made with the participants consent.
Each situation will vary. The Mediator will provide indicative pricing based on:
Prices quoted will be inclusive of travel time (if required) and allow for time to prepare documentation.
Our Mediators will not:
Read Better Place Australia’s position paper on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Part of the research of the Centre for Better Relationships (CBR).
CBR is the research arm of Better Place Australia with research projects including elder abuse prevention, stamping out coercive control, and mental health interventions in aged care facilities.
Please make an enquiry if you would like to book an appointment for one of our services. Alternatively, you can live chat with us during business hours.
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Better Place Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the communities where we work.
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Visit the Centre for Better Relationships, the research arm of Better Place Australia