Plenty of questions at elder abuse forum

THE Speak Up Now – Stop Domestic Violence group held its second annual elder abuse information session in December with 40 attendees at the Maleny RSL.

The successful session included a short film in the form of a drama outlining issues for older people and their legal rights, including enduring powers of attorney and wills. This was followed by morning tea and a question-and-answer session.

Professional presenters from Maleny law firm Easton Lawyers, the Suncoast Community Legal Service, Relationships Australia (elder abuse team) and Centacare Domestic Violence Service attended to provide information and answer audience questions.

Speak Up Now representative Val France said the majority of questions asked by attendees related to enduring power of attorney documents. These questions focused mainly on possible abuses from having someone either not suited to or not having the ability (eg, not having the time or inclination) to take care of the person’s financial, personal and health needs when they lost their medical and legal capacity to make their own decisions.

“Attendees were also interested in whether the person appointed had to be a family member, how many attorneys could be appointed, when the attorney’s power to make decisions for the person making the appointment commenced, and how decision-making should be made, jointly, severally or by majority, where three or more attorneys were appointed,” Val said.

She said that as some people did not have anyone suitable to act as their attorney, there was discussion about the Public Trustee and the Public Guardian and the legal mechanisms for those statutory authorities to be appointed.

To learn more about the Speak Up Now group check their Facebook page

Main image: Speak Up Now members Ian Demack, Val France and Linda McElrea