Association for Conflict Resolution Guidelines for Eldercaring Coordination: From Conflict to Collaboration toward the Care and Safety of Elders

Date01 July 2015
Published date01 July 2015
C R Q, vol. 32, no. 4, Summer 2015 413
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the Association for Confl ict Resolution
Published online in Wiley Online Library ( • DOI: 10.1002/crq.21124
Association for Con ict Resolution Guidelines
for Eldercaring Coordination: From Con ict to
Collaboration toward the Care and Safety of Elders
Linda Fieldstone
Sue Bronson
e Association for Confl ict Resolution endorsed the work of its Task
Force on Eldercaring Coordination, composed of twenty-one U.S. and
Canadian organizations that developed a dispute resolution option spe-
cifi cally for high-confl ict cases involving the care and safety of elders.
Currently there are no options for dispute resolution that diff erentiate
between the unique needs of cases involving elders. Using parenting
coordination as a model, Guidelines for Eldercaring Coordination con-
tain an ethical framework for the practices of eldercaring coordinators.
Training protocols, a court pilot project template, and project assess-
ment tool complete the package so that this new application to a promis-
ing fi eld can be applied responsibly and productively.
Courts and participants agree that mediation is a successful process for
many family issues (Emery and Wyer 1987; Johnston 1994; John-
ston and Roseby 1997; Kelly 2000, 2003, 2004; Koch and Lowery 1984;
Pearson and  oennes 1984; Sprenkle and Storm 1983; Taichert 2006).
However, when the focus becomes primarily self-interest and perpetuating
the confl ict itself, rather than the resolution of the issues at hand or the
needs of a family member, another alternative is needed.
To address this issue, on October 5, 2014, the board of directors of the
Association for Confl ict Resolution (ACR) unanimously approved Guide-
lines for Eldercaring Coordinators, posted on the ACR website at http://, and endorsed by the Association of Family
and Conciliation Courts as of November 6, 2014.  ese guidelines were
C R Q • DOI: 10.1002/crq
crafted by the ACR Task Force on Eldercaring Coordination (henceforth
referred to as the ACR Task Force) composed of representatives of the
following entities (note that “National” here refers to the United States):
Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada
American Association for Marriage and Family  erapy
American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging
American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section
American Psychological Association
Association of American Retired Persons
Association of Confl ict Resolution
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Elder Justice Coalition
Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
National Adult Protective Services Association
National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for State Courts
National College of Probate Judges
National Committee on the Prevention of Elder Abuse
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
National Guardianship Association
National Guardianship Network
ese organizations joined the ACR Task Force because of their com-
monality: each recognized the negative eff ects of confl ict on elders when
decisions are delayed or actions undermined by contentious family mem-
bers, at times putting the elder at risk and at other times ignoring the rights
of the elder. In addition, they acknowledged the need to treat elders and
their families caught in high-confl ict situations more humanely and more
productively within the judicial system.

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