Authors: CJI’s own Julie Friesen and Wendy Meek explore ideas to help connect and support people, building on the strengths and capacities of older adults and their families, in order to strengthen communities. Restorative justice dialogues help older adults and their families talk constructively and safely to find ways to move forward together.
As our global population ages, conflicts and difficult conversations emerge. How will older adults decide who will make end-of-life health and financial decisions for them? When will dad need to move out of his home and into long-term care? We can’t have mom living with us anymore because it’s just too hard. Why are my children fighting over where I will live? Why is my son taking money from me? These are challenging scenarios that ever-increasing numbers of people are facing. Sometimes these difficulties are discussed in catastrophic terms:
Certainly, there are some reasons to worry; however, the challenges facing older adults can be an opportunity for positive change. The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Older Adults is about providing safe and respectful processes to assist in resolving conflict and addressing abuse involving older adults, families, caregivers, and communities.
During our 40+ year history, we have continuously responded to community needs by creatively, and innovatively applying restorative justice principles to new problems. We believe the only limit to the power of restorative justice is the capacity of the human heart to change and grow.
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Our Sulah program continues to help meet the needs of people who