Planning for future important, seniors told

Medical social worker Jackie Greenall speaks to the Wise Owls group at Owaka Library. PHOTO:...
Medical social worker Jackie Greenall speaks to the Wise Owls group at Owaka Library. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Help for seniors and the importance of preparedness was the message at a Wise Owls presentation at Owaka Library last Wednesday.

Clutha Health First medical social worker Jackie Greenall met some of the older community to open discussion and answer questions ranging from Work and Income forms, rates rebates and disability allowances, to power of attorney.

"The legal aspects of health with power of attorney are as important as having your will sorted. If someone is no longer capable of making health decisions for themselves, then who would they trust to do that on their behalf?" Mrs Greenall said.

"Someone who is your power of attorney would be able to do things for you while you’re still capable of making decisions, but an enduring power of attorney comes into effect with the input of a medical officer when you are no longer capable of making decisions about your health yourself.

"So if you had dementia and weren’t able to decide on a health facility, then someone who has had their enduring power of attorney invoked will have the person they listed make that decision for them."

"The main message is to think ahead and imagine yourself in a situation where you’re no longer able to take full responsibility for yourself, having a plan in place for that," Mrs Greenall said.

Ideas to improve resources lacking in the community were also discussed, such as agencies like Lions Club stepping in to help people who had appointments but did not have transport.

"Part of my role is to facilitate people with other agencies who can support them to manage the things life will keep throwing at them," Mrs Greenall said.

"Get in touch with Clutha Health First, Age Concern, and Community Law now has free legal advice once a month through Clutha Development at TPŌMA."