Friday, November 13, 2009

Advance care directive

An advance health care directive is a document that states a person's wishes or directions regarding their future health care for various medical conditions.
It comes into effect only at a stage when they are unable to make their own decisions. The directive may apply at any time when they are unable to decide for themselves, or it may apply only if they are terminally ill.

In a NSW case, a patient was being kept alive by mechanical ventilation and kidney dialysis. When the health service became aware of the existence of an advance care directive refusing dialysis treatment, it sought legal clarification on whether the directive was valid, and whether the health service would be justified in complying with the person’s wishes.

The courts held that in general “whenever there is a conflict between a capable adult’s exercise of the right of self-determination and the state’s interest in preserving life, the right of the individual must prevail”, although there may be exceptions to that principle.

The hospital was required to give effect to the advance care directive, even though withdrawal of dialysis would hasten the person’s death.

Consult us if you would like to discuss age care issues.
End of life: Enforcing your wishes with an advance care directive
“Laws on elder law and succession”, Law Society Journal, November 2009, p.35.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Communicate with ageing parents

Two common communication problems make discussion of sensitive issues with seniors even more difficult. Both problems are illustrated in The TV show "Mother & Son".
One happens if there is a continuation of the parent-child roles from childhood. There was never a coming-of-age for the junior person. This allows the parent to easily dismiss the child's ideas. (Gary McDonald's character)
The other one is patronising speech or "baby talk". (Henry Szeps' character - the dentist) This approach puts older adults on the defensive and convey a lack of respect for them.
When having discussions with seniors always try to move toward solutions that provide the maximum amount of independence for the older person.
See the 40-70 rule:

Friday, August 7, 2009

News from Council of the Ageing

The Council of the Ageing news page is a central place to pick up on items of interest to seniors and their care-givers.
The current news item from the SMH talks about:
"more seniors live below the poverty threshold in Australia (defined as half the median household income) than in all other OECD nations except for Korea, Mexico and Ireland".
See also their item about the 'Experience Works' report, commissioned by National Seniors Australia. It found that many older employees are worse off when it comes to getting a job in Australia, compared to elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Downside of production and consumption

Legalink's Website of the Month -
"The Story of Stuff is a 21-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."

..Talk to your older relatives and tell them you are sorry and that they were right..

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Retirement home ideas

I had seen the fake bus stop before, but a new idea to me was to bother to have retirement home bedroom doors fitted with the same knobs & painted the same colour as residents' previous front doors.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Your pet in your will

Pets share the lives of the majority of Australians with approximately 65% of all Australian households owning a pet. While they are beloved members of our family, how many of us have thought about what might happen if our furry family members outlive us?
The NSW Young Lawyers Animal Law Committee have produced a brochure titled “What About Me? Your Pets and Your Will” written in plain language to help people understand the options available when preparing a Will.
For a PDF copy of the brochure:
Contact us if you want to make provision in your will for your pet:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What is a valid will?

It is essential to make a will if you are concerned about who will receive your assets and belongings after you die. It is particularly important to make a will if you have a family or other dependants.
While any bit of paper with your wishes on it could do the job.
Ask your self "What could possibly go wrong?"
Most people need help to make a valid will.
If your will is not enforceable the court has the power to dispose of your property as if you had not made a will.
Read the following detail..
..and/or contact us..

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