In a position paper released this week, OPAN voiced its support for the right for older people to make decisions about the care and services they receive and recognising this right under a legislative framework.
OPAN CEO Craig Gear told Australian Ageing Agenda that, while there has been much talk in Australia about supported decision-making over the years, it has never been formally realised.
“In Australia, while we’ve had some research done in the past around supported decision-making – there was also a recommendation of the [aged care] royal commission to embed supported decision-making – we actually haven’t rolled it out as a framework.”
Supported decision-making aims to assist people to stay involved in the decision-making process about their healthcare and is an alternative model to using a substitute decision-maker.
Legally appointed, a substitute decision-maker can be a:
spouse or de facto spouse
nearest relative or friend who has a close personal relationship with the person.