This is the area of law tailored primarily for older people. I prefer to call it "CARING LAW'. It is the law to protect and help those that may not be able to protect or help themselves.
Over the past 20 years the State has enacted a number of key pieces of legislation to assist us as we get older.
- Power of Attorney act 1996.
This legislation enacted the Enduring Power of Attorney structure which allows all persons over 18 who have mental capacity to appoint a person or persons who will have power to take/make decisions on ALL or a limited no of matters on behalf of the person creating the Power (the Donor).
- Nursing home support scheme 2009
This is the technical name of what is know as the FAIR DEAL scheme. This is designed to allow all persons who may need nursing home support to avail of the facilities for the res of their lives. The State loans a portion of the cost of nursing home which the state collects from the Estate of the beneficiary.
- Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015
This lagislation provides a framwork whereby a person may sign a decsision making agreement or co agreement which apoints another person to make binding decisions if the Donor loses capacity in relation to their welfare typically in medical or hospital situations where the consent of a patient. This is very important for people who wish to have control over there welfare and medical treatment if they have terminal ilnesses.
A lot of the law on this topic has been enacted in recent years.
This new legislation brings Ireland up to date with modern international norms and also puts structures in place