Skip to main content
Department of Justice
Image of people
Office of the Public Advocate
Print page
  • Small Text
  • Medium Text
  • Large Text

Guardianship case study

A positive outcome

C is an elderly widow with progressive dementia and her daughter has found it increasingly difficult to meet her care needs. The hospital Aged Care Assessment Team has advised that C is eligible for high-level care in a nursing home.

However, C refuses to move into residential care. C has no insight into the risks to which she is exposed by living alone and her daughter feels unable to act against her mother's wishes. She wants to preserve the relationship she has with her mother.

The hospital social worker applies to the State Administrative Tribunal for a guardianship order for C when all avenues to support her at home have been exhausted and C's at-risk behaviours have increased.

The Tribunal appoints the Public Advocate as C's guardian with authority to determine her accommodation and make decisions regarding her medical treatment.

After information gathering that includes consultation with C and her family, the Public Advocate determines that it would be in C's best interests to be placed in a residential aged care facility and consents to the move.

The process is improved greatly by the involvement of C's daughter who encourages and supports her mother through the transition into care. The Public Advocate also ensures that C is linked with a new doctor and provides consent for the administration of her medications.

The Public Advocate applies to the Tribunal after six months to seek a revocation of C's guardianship order because it is no longer needed. C has settled quickly into her nursing home and benefited from regular visits from her daughter. The Tribunal hears that C's daughter agrees with the Public Advocate that her mother is appropriately placed.

The Tribunal is satisfied that C no longer requires a guardianship order and revokes the Public Advocate's order. It considers that C's daughter is able to make medical decisions on behalf of her mother as per the 'Hierarchy of treatment decision-makers', without the need for guardianship authority.

For more information on the 'Hierarchy of treatment decision-makers' see the Making treatment decisions page.

* Note: Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Last updated: 25-Aug-2015

[ back to top ]

Home | Feedback | Copyright & Disclaimer | Privacy Statement |  HR Kiosk
Department of Justice |  About the Department |  Births, Deaths and Marriages | Court and Tribunal Services | Public Trustee
All contents copyright Government of Western Australia. All rights reserved.