How clients deceive you about their decision making ability

Technical Summit 2021

Professionals can only assume the decision making capacity of a client while it is reasonable to do so. Capacity is a relative, not binary concept. Once you are faced with a capacity evaluation trigger, what comes next?

Decision making ability (the capacity to make decisions), once a capacity assessment trigger is present must be evaluated in the context of the task or decision to be performed.

This session will arm participants with practical tools to help them evaluate the demonstrated decision making ability of their clients in a number of settings. Clinical neuropsychologists tell us an early symptom of cognitive decline is a lack of insight. One of the last abilities to decline is language and sociability.

This session will explain what is a capacity assessment trigger and what we consider is prudent practice when you are faced with such a trigger. This session will also explore the evidence you should react to when concluding you are dealing with a competent client.

At the end of the session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the cognitive mechanics of your client’s decision making and how they vary as the type of decision making changes;
  • Determine what a capacity assessment trigger is;
  • Understand what should happen when you are faced with a trigger;
  • Understand how to evaluate the decision making behaviour of your client;
  • Determine what evidence should guide your competence evaluation;
  • Determine what the key options are when dealing with supporting and safeguarding the will and preference of your client, and;
  • Identify how we can mitigate the risk of abusive behaviour by being vigilant about cognitive decline.

The contents of this resource are taken to be correct at the time of publication.

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