The University of Newcastle, Australia

Taking action: increasing advance personal planning by community-dwelling older adults

This ARC funded Project develops, implements and evaluates a community action model for the uptake of advanced personal planning among people 65 or over in the community. It demonstrates that people have a legal right to engage in advance personal planning, a process that helps people discuss and document their financial, personal and health preferences, in case they later lose the ability to make or communicate decisions.

Few people plan ahead, even though it can reduce the likelihood of financial exploitation, family conflict and unwanted medical care. The goal is to provide a model of community action that can be replicated in other communities to build capacity and collaboration across social services and improve the wellbeing of older people. The project aims to provide education and training resources for older people and professionals providing legal, financial and health advice in the community.

The intent is to improve the knowledge, skills and capacity of the community, so that older people can work with coordinated legal, social and health services to manage complex financial, personal and health decisions. The goal is to develop a demonstration model of community action that can be replicated in other Australian communities.

For enquiries about the project, please email john.anderson@newcastle.edu.au.