Actor says plan for future care
TV PERSONALITY, ambassador for ageing and much-loved actor Noeline Brown was the special guest at a free Planning Ahead forum held by Alzheimer's Australia NSW and the Northern NSW Local Health District in Tweed Heads today.
The forum provided information on how people can make plans for their future care.
The event focussed on the importance of planning ahead, and how best an individual can ensure that their specific wishes regarding their health and legal care are fulfilled in the future.
Ms Brown told the Daily News making plans for the future was "crucial for everyone of any age."
"We tend to put things off and think that day will never come when we might depend on others," she said.
"But if you want to be the one to make decisions about your care then you need to act now.
"Don't wait until it's too late and perhaps have someone else making the decisions for you.
"It's also a huge responsibility to place on your loved ones who could be left to agonise over whether they are making the right decisions for you."
Alzheimer's Australia NSW CEO John Watkins said that too often people reach a stage of life where they can no longer make decisions regarding their own well-being and have not put in place any legal directives or instructions regarding their wishes for both their health and financial care.
"This is a topic that is important to all of us," Mr Watkins said.
"We all need to make sure that if we get to a point where we can no longer make our own decisions, either because of an illness like Alzheimer's disease or for some other reason, that our wishes about our health care and financial plans and who we would like to be making decisions for us have been set out in a legally binding document.
"If we don't, it can lead to added stress on our family and carers who are either unsure of our wishes or who do not have the legal ability make sure our wishes are followed."
Speakers also included CEO of the NSW Trustee and Guardian Imelda Dodds; international expert in ageing, ethics and medical decisions at the end of life and the director of the ASLaRC Aged Services Unit at Southern Cross University, Colleen Cartwright; Hanaan Indari, a Partner with Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers, and Mr Watkins.
The forum was sponsored by Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers.
Alzheimer's Australia NSW is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and information.
An estimated 267,000 people have dementia in Australia.
This number is projected to double by 2030.