1 x 12-hour independent study weekly
4 x 4.5-hour on-line exercises once-only
4 x 1-hour on-line tutorials once-only
36 units of topics
Topic description
Legal issues in Later Life introduces students to the complex interaction of the law, legal processes and ageing. Through this topic students will study and consider a range of legal and ethical principles associated with later life. Topic content includes decision making, legal capacity and competency; future planning such as wills, powers of attorney and advance directives; guardianship; death and dying; accommodation management; financial and other elder forms of elder abuse; age discrimination; and the legal and policy context in which Australians age. An interdisciplinary focus enables students to better understand how law can be used to empower older adults and ensure respect for their autonomy, dignity and right to self-determination. Through this topic students will also learn how to seek out and access the appropriate supports, services or information regarding the legal rights of older adults across a range of sectors.
Educational aims
The aim of the topic is to expose students to a range of key legal and ethical issues associated with later life. Students will develop an understanding of how legal policy and practice can empower and protect older adult autonomy, dignity and rights within a local and national context.
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Identify and compare key areas of Australian law relevant to older adults

  2. Describe ethical considerations regarding decision making, consent and capacity in later life

  3. Interpret and prepare basic future planning documentation

  4. Examine how the law can protect the rights of older adults and the quality of care and services they receive

  5. Investigate appropriate supports, services or information specific to elder abuse, age related discrimination and legal rights of older adults across a range of sectors.