Promoting and Providing Information
Enduring Guardianship Appointments can be made by anyone who has capacity and the community should be encouraged to ‘plan ahead’ as part of general life planning. However, there are key points or triggers which may cause a person to become more interested in Enduring Guardianship, and times when Enduring Guardianship may be more relevant. These include:
- Diagnosis of serious degenerative health conditions
- Diagnosis of a condition which will impair capacity
- Divorce or remarriage
- Increasing frailty and need for external support
- Moving to residential aged care
There are also groups within the community who may benefit from formalised substitute decision making arrangements such as Enduring Guardianship including:
- Gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex people can use Enduring Guardianship to avoid possible conflict or lack of recognition of a partner as decision maker
- Single people, particularly older people, may wish to use Enduring Guardianship to choose a decision maker other than close family members or ex-partners
- Carers are often concerned with making future arrangements for the person they care for, and neglect to make their own arrangements. While an Enduring Guardianship Appointment does directly allow for decisions to be made for the person being cared for, it is possible to direct the guardian to make decisions which take the caring relationship into account. For example, an appointor might write a direction that in making any accommodation decisions, the Enduring Guardian must consider locating the appointor close to the person they cared for.
Some groups in the community may be interested in Enduring Guardianship but may have difficulty accessing information or getting in touch with relevant services. Examples include people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds or people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. These groups may benefit from proactive promotion of Enduring Guardianship.
You can refer individuals to the information fact sheets and more detailed guides available from this website, and information can also be printed for display in clinics, waiting rooms and information areas. When you are talking to people about Enduring Guardianship, encourage them to consider appointing a person they trust, who shares their values and who has good decision making skills. Make them aware that the guardian may also be required to make decisions under difficult or emotional circumstances.