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Planning for the future to combat elder abuse

The Office of the Public Advocate provides information sessions for community members and service providers on the topics of enduring powers of attorney and enduring powers of guardianship.

The objective of community member sessions is to inform people about the planning documents which are available to adults who have capacity, so that they can appoint a trusted person who will step in and make decisions on their behalf if they lose full legal capacity.

The objective of the service provider sessions is to educate professionals on the proper operation of the documents so they can assist people who are considering completing the documents and also recognise when the documents are not working in someone’s best interests.

A range of information is covered in the community sessions to assist people considering making an enduring power of attorney and/or an enduring power of guardianship, including:

  • the importance of nominating a person or people you know well and trust
  • how to ensure the documents are completed and witnessed correctly, so they stand up to any scrutiny in the future
  • ideas on the distribution and storage of the documents, so they are readily available if/when they are needed
  • guidance on how to revoke the documents.

The type of information included in the service provider sessions includes:

  • the correct completion and witnessing of the documents
  • suggestions on how to work with enduring guardians and attorneys
  • how and when it might be necessary to apply to the State Administrative Tribunal
  • relevant contact points and sources of information to refer clients to.

Service providers are encouraged to take action if they believe someone is experiencing possible abuse, exploitation or neglect – whether it be by a person who has been appointed under one of these documents or someone else in the person's life.

If completed correctly and used to appoint an appropriate person, enduring powers of attorney and enduring powers of guardianship can be powerful tools in protecting people from elder abuse. For more information on enduring powers of attorney and enduring powers of guardianship, refer to the download section below.

For more information on the office’s training sessions, refer the training page on this website.

Last updated: 6-Nov-2019

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