Currently I am working to place two clients in suitable aged care facilities who are under a Guardianship Order. Generally, the clients who are referred from the Office of The Public Advocate (OPA), are under guardianship because they do not have the capacity to make decisions regarding their accommodation and lifestyle. Often a person appoints a trusted family member as their guardian at the time they appoint a Power of Attorney, knowing they will see their wishes are carried out. However, if they haven’t appointed a guardian and they don’t have family or the family do not want to be involved or family members cannot agree a guardian is appointed from the OPA. Usually an administrator is also appointed to take care of the financial interests of the person if there’s no power of attorney.
For example, in my role as a Placement Specialist I was asked by an appointed guardian to find suitable accommodation for a 67 year old man who has a history of alcohol abuse and has become estranged from his children and brother. Finding a client a new home is not difficult, but trying to align the various decision makers can be.
When facilitating a placement in these circumstances, I am required to liaise with the guardian, the administrator and sometimes various factions within a family who have differing opinions. Firstly, I need information on the client’s financial status before I even approach a facility and this can take quite some time, involving waiting in queues at call centres and numerous emails. The accepting facility wants paperwork completed and residential agreements signed and this can take days or even weeks and a lot of liaising on my part. There is often a tight time frame involved too as the client is usually transferring from a hospital or transitional care.