Saturday marks the beginning of Seniors Week

Last Saturday marked the beginning of Seniors Week in Queensland. Seniors Week celebrates the older people in Queensland and the contribution they make to the wider community. 

Seniors Week is organised by the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland and runs from August 16 to 24. A number of activities are run throughout the week for Queenslanders to get involved in, including tai chi, outdoor activities, high tea, workshops to help Seniors with new technologies and advance care planning training.

COTA Queensland say the aim of the week is to improve community attitudes toward older people, enhance community connections and facilitate community participation. The Queensland Government is the principal sponsor of Seniors Week.  

Advanced care planning

Griffith University and COTA ran a free workshop for people aged 60 and over on advanced care planning on Tuesday August 19. Topics on the agenda included why advance care planning is necessary, maintaining control and security of health decisions and making sure healthcare wishes, needs and values are respected.

Advanced care planning can be part of an estate plan to ensure the treatment and care you would like is provided for in the future. One way to do this is to appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney or get an Advance Health Directive made. 

An Advance Health Directive is a formal document that outlines your health care decisions should you no longer be able to make decisions yourself. The directive may include any health conditions or allergies you may have, assisted breathing and artificial nutrition and hydration. A directive may also reference religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that should be taken into consideration, the Queensland government notes.

It can also include what life-sustaining measures you would like in situations such as terminal illness and irreversible brain damage. 

An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that names another person to make personal and financial decisions on your behalf.