ElderCare Problem-Solving Project

As people age and become less able to make difficult decisions affecting their own lives, tension often develops within the family. The Community Mediation Center's (CMC's) ElderCare Problem-Solving Project is a mediation process developed to help family members communicate effectively and, through discussion, negotiation and problem-solving, make decisions that are in the best interest of their elderly family members.

ElderCare ImageShadow

Issues or decisions that families might face include:

  • whether an elderly parent should continue to drive a car;
  • whether he/she needs to be in a retirement community or nursing home (and concerns that may arise if he/she has moved to one);
  • whether an older person or couple has sufficient assets for future care; and
  • end-of-life issues.

These kinds of problems often divide family members who care deeply for one another, but who don’t have the experience or skills to deal constructively with these kinds of issues. The result is often anger, frustration or family members who avoid one another — at a time in their lives when they may need each other more than ever. CMC has coordinated a network of carefully trained volunteers as mediators and group facilitators to assist older persons and their families or caregivers in arriving at constructive solutions to difficult problems. Referrals are invited from churches, nursing homes, lawyers, doctors, financial planners, families themselves and others.

While some agencies focus on legal problems or counseling for the elderly, we are aware of no other organization in Kansas that works specifically at collaborative problem-solving for the elderly. We believe this project not only provides a model for good conflict resolution processes, but also provides a ministry to a significant segment of the population.



  • "Let me express my sincere appreciation for your efforts to help us solve our family situation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your professionalism and gentle and wise approach. You and Susan are doing God’s work."
    - Statement made by an adult son after an ElderCare session
Education and Training Community Mediation Center Great Plains Consensus Council Congregational Health