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Intouch : In Touch Issue 74
www.alzheimers.org.au In touch Spring 2010 7 The Planning Ahead Forum was held jointly by Alzheimer's Australia NSW and the NSW Department of Justice and Attorney General, and covered capacity, the role of substitute decision making and advance care directives. The CEO of AlzNSW, The Hon. John Watkins, said the forum aimed to give people -- especially those dealing with dementia -- information about making decisions concerning their own future or for the care of a loved one who can no longer make decisions for themselves. "Making decisions and putting plans in place about how you would like to be cared for in the future, and about who can make decisions for you when you are no longer able to, can ease some of the burden at what can be a very stressful and emotional time," Mr Watkins said. The forum was chaired by Nick O'Neill, Director of AlzNSW and former President of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal. Other speakers included Mr Watkins; Associate Professor Carmelle Peisah, Conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of NSW; Sue Field, NSW Trustee and Guardian Fellow in Elder Law at the University of Western Sydney; Jenna Macnab, Senior Policy Advisor, Diversity Services, Department of Justice and Attorney General; and Anne Meller, Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Ms Field said it was a significant event. "It is vital that people understand the importance of putting into place measures that will enable them to choose who will make their decisions for them," she explained. The forum also featured the launch of A Plan of Care (see box, below). One of the book's authors said that families often struggle with doing what is best for the person they love. "This book will meet a real need for those families and carers of people with dementia," said Anne Meller. There was also an Information Expo with stalls from several organisations, including AlzNSW, Diversity Services, Advance Care Directive Association Inc, Carers NSW, Carer Support (Central Coast), Central Coast Respite and Carelink Centre, Central Coast General Division of Practice, Guardianship Tribunal, Legal Aid, LawAccess, NSW Trustee and Guardian, Office of Public Guardian, and The Aged Care Rights Service. Research News Future proof The importance of planning ahead was the topic of a free forum for carers and health professionals in Wyong in July. Book launch: A Plan of Care A Plan of Care, by Anne Meller, Sara Graham, Elizabeth Hindmarsh (pictured left, speaking at the launch), Barbara Squires and Sharon Wall, uses clear language to explain how to make health and personal care decisions for a person who has dementia and has lost the capacity to make decisions for themself. It highlights the importance of planning ahead and contains a four-page 'Plan of Care' form to complete. It is written for use in NSW, for people who have to make decisions for a person with dementia. Free electronic copies of the book are available for download from the Advance Care Directive Association Inc website. Hard copies are available for $14 each (including $2 P&H) from Advanced Care Directives or the AlzNSW online bookshop. W: www.advancecaredirectives.org.au T: 0423 157 003 E: firstname.lastname@example.org AlzNSW bookshop: www.alz.seekbooks.com.au Nick O'Neill, Director of AlzNSW, chaired the Planning Ahead Forum Staff changes Emma Piper has joined the fundraising team as the new Fundraising Events Coordinator, replacing Kathryn Gibb. We bid Kathryn a fond farewell and thank her for all she has done for us. Samantha Besgrove has joined the team at the Dementia and Memory Community Centre at North Ryde as Receptionist and Administrator. Janet de Bres has joined the Library at North Ryde as a Reference and Research Librarian, while Carly Ross has joined the Services Team as a Group Work Facilitator. We warmly welcome Gary Thomas, who has taken on the role of Regional Coordinator for the Mid North Coast. Gary takes over from Margaret Allen; we bid a fond farewell to Margaret, who made a wonderful contribution and will be missed. We also welcome Julie Boehm, who joins the team at the Gibson-Denney Centre on reception.
In Touch Issue 75