5th Circuit Pilots Eldercaring Coordination Project


Eldercaring Coordination is a groundbreaking, new dispute resolution option that is still in its development stages. Specifically, Eldercaring Coordination is intended for those high conflict court cases involving issues related to the care and needs of elders. Eldercaring Coordination is to complement, not replace, other services such as: provision of legal information or legal representation; mediation; financial management or advice; individual/family therapy; or, medical, psychological or psychiatric evaluation or treatment. Eldercaring Coordination focuses on reducing the level of conflict in families so that family members are able to focus more productively on the issues at hand and work with others in their support system to provide legal advice, guidance and care to their elder loved one. Modeled after Parenting Coordination, Eldercaring Coordination will:


*           Help manage high conflict family dynamics so that the family’s focus turns to the elder loved one;

*           Enable the elder, family and stakeholders to address their non-legal issues independently from the court;

*           Ready the elder and family to work with collaterals to address medical, legal, financial and care issues, avoiding delays and resulting in better decisions for the elder;

*           Foster self-determination of the elder for as long as possible;

*           Promote safety by monitoring situations at high risk for abuse or neglect as it relates to elders and vulnerable adults;

*           Provide a support system for the elder and family during times of transition; and,

*           Reduce court intervention into family decisions over the needs and care of elder loved ones.


The Fifth Circuit is one of eight circuits throughout the State that have volunteered to serve as pilots for the referral of cases to Eldercaring Coordination. The purpose of the projects is to generate outcome data to enhance and improve the process and hopefully support its success so that it can ultimately be introduced into legislation. The Eldercaring Coordinator qualifications, training, ethical standards and other details of the process are in the FLAFCC Guidelines for Eldercaring Coordination found at FLAFCC.org.


For additional information about Eldercaring Coordination, to contact an Eldercaring Coordinator, or to find the FLAFCC Eldercaring Coordination Guidelines, go to EldercaringCoordinationFL.org.  If you believe you have a case that might be appropriate for Eldercaring Coordination, contact the 5th Circuit’s Eldercaring Coordination Pilot Project Site Coordinator Jo Dell Coning at 352-253-1602 or jconing@circuit5.org.  The 5th Circuit is excited about being a Pilot Project Site for this wonderful and innovative new program. We look forward to working on this project with the members of our community.