Fran L. Tetunic

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Eldercaring Coordination refers to a dispute resolution process which seeks to address the needs of senior family members. This new process aims to solve conflicts concerning the lives and finances of aging family members. It arises from the need to provide elders a voice in important decisions concerning their lives and guide families in high conflict disputes towards productive decision-making focused on the best interests of the elderly. The eldercaring coordinator works with legally-authorized decision-makers and other participants to resolve disputes related to an elderly person’s safety and autonomy. The United Nations recognizes eldercaring coordination as an Action Model for the Welfare of Aging Persons, highlighting the international scope of the issue. Although eldercaring coordinators operate in Canada, Australia, and several states in the United States, Florida is presently the only state to have enacted a comprehensive eldercaring coordination statute which authorizes judges to refer cases to the process. This article identifies the need for eldercaring coordination, provides a succinct overview of the eldercaring coordination process, explores Florida’s comprehensive eldercaring coordination statutory law as compared to traditional mediation, discusses the relationship between recommendations for guardianship reform and eldercaring coordination, and lastly makes recommendations for how eldercaring coordination can best serve seniors, their families, helping professionals, and the court systems.