When your need for care escalates, it is a good idea to be sure of your rights. Older Persons Advocacy Network is a national voice that advocates for older men and women. OPAN is made up of nine states and territory services. The organisations work closely together to provide nationally consistent advocacy, information and education all over Australia.
It supports consumers and potential consumers of Commonwealth funded aged care to understand and exercise their rights.
OPAN is creating digital communication channels, like television and videos in aged care facilities. The program is to ensure the rights of older people continue to be linked to aged care reforms.
Free calls are available on 1800 700 700 between 9.30am and 4.30pm weekdays. You might also check it out on this link http://www.opan.com.au/
Have you used this service? What was your experience?
Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that life expectancy for both men and women has increased by more than 30 years in the last century. What can we do to ensure these extra years will be filled with the joy of living? Perhaps we need to take steps to ensure we can move forward and embrace the role of the Super Adult.
Food for thought that may inspire is to explore Marlene Rutherford’s website and blog. Acknowledging the wisdom and greatness of age is the first step to becoming aware of the possibilities that might be open to us for the extra years we have been given.
Check out joyfulawakenings.com.au – an interesting website with blog attached. You might like to join one of her weekend retreats.
Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document in which you designate another person to act on your behalf to make decisions about you, your property or financial affairs. It might be for ‘all decisions’ or ‘specified decisions’. Your appointee should be someone you trust to ensure you have peace of mind.
It has been considered as only being required should one become incapacitated. But this is not necessarily so. Extended periods outside Australia at any age could require the appointment of an attorney. A POA can be initiated for short periods of time if you are incapacitated or absent. On regaining your status or returning you will act for yourself. The most common time to establish a POA comes with advanced age. It should be reassuring as it is an instrument to protect your rights.
If you do not have a POA and a time comes when you can no longer handle your affairs, someone will need to apply to the government in your state of residence to appoint someone to act on your behalf. You can purchase POA kits from most Newsagents, Australia Post Offices and on-line.
I first appointed my attorney many years ago on my first extended period travelling and living overseas. Although my attorney has never acted on my behalf I alert him when something comes up so he can be ready if needed.
Do you have an experience to share?
A will is a legal document that sets out how you want the things you own distributed when you die. It is not just for the wealthy, but a positive step to provide for the people you care about, family, friends or charities.
Making a will is not just for older people. Tomorrow is not a promise. Young people, between ages 18 – 34 without a will should know that everything will go to their parents. If you leave no will when you are older the “intestacy rules” will be applied to your estate. Depending on the size of your family your estate may go to the government.
Making a will is simple. Do-it-yourself kits are available from Post Offices, Newsagents and on-line. But it is recommended that you seek professional advice if your affairs are in any way complicated. Accuracy of the will document helps avoid disputes after your death. Person or Persons appointed by you (Executor/s) should have a copy or should know where a copy can be located when required.
Procrastination and an unwillingness to accept the inevitability of death often stops people from preparing a will. Having no will can cause much stress and angst at what is already an emotional time.
Put will preparation at the top of your to-do list.
Questions to answer>
Have you checked out the Advanced Health Directive? Help is available via your General Practitioner. It is quite a lengthy document available for purchase from a newsagent and also available online for you to download. When you go through and complete all the section it is a good idea to take it along to the GP for review before you take it to a Justice of the Peace to be endorsed just in case there are any errors. It need to be reviewed every two years and so many advances are made to medical care. When it is completed and endorsed take it back to the GP so that it can be loaded onto your file in the National Health Register and available for any treating doctor.
It cane be quite a tedious chore, but invaluable for carers and doctors when the need arises.
Have you completed yours?