ADACAS is a service I find to be so valuable, and one that I have used many times in my aged care career.
It has played a vital part in my residential and private aged care nursing, especially at times when ethically I am not sure what to do, or I feel there may be an injustice in which I require additional support.
ADACAS stands for ACT Disability Aged Carer Advocacy Services, and they are there to support people in Canberra, Southern Highlands and the South Coast
If you feel like you need advocacy or know anyone that may need this service, do not hesitate to reach out for support.
Sonia Di Mezza Deputy CEO of ADACAS and this is what she shared with me when we caught up recently.
What is ADACAS Sonia?
ADACAS is a free advocacy service that supports people with disabilities, people with mental health illness, older people and carers to access their human rights.
What is ADACAS main objective in the aged care space?
The aim in aged care is to help older people to live lives of dignity and access the services they want, in the way they want and enjoy their rights. ADACAS also holds space for those who want to live their lives the way that they choose. ADACAS is also involved in protecting our elderly population from elder abuse and educate around this topic extensively.
How can ADACAS support people with dementia and their carers?
ADACAS advocates are trained in working with and advocating for people with dementia. Regardless of cognitive impairment, ADACAS will put the older person in the centre of the advocacy and aim to ensure their rights are protected.
ADACAS has had situations where the person with dementia is not happy with the decision making of the person holding the enduring power of attorney (EPOA), which is often an immediate family member. In this situation, ADACAS will try and understand what the older person wants to happen, what decisions they want to make and share that information with the attorney (EPOA holder).
ADACAS has implemented a supported decision-making project which aims to put the vulnerable person at the centre of all decisions regarding their own life. They provide the person with the support to make decisions rather than taking a substitute decision approach. Laws around enduring power of attorneys vary from state.
Who can call ADACAS?
Anyone can call – carers, family, facilities, concerned neighbours, but they always aim to follow the express wish of the client. No one is forced to use ADASC, and they must consent.
Is ADACAS a free service?
ADACAS is an independent not for profit organisation that is free of charge.
Is there a take-home message for people with dementia and their carers?
ADACAS are here to represent people with dementia and their carers, and ensure their voices are heard.
How can I contact ADACAS?
You can call 02 6242 50 60 business hours.
If you require an interpreter call 131 450.http://www.support-my-decision.org.au/
Sonia Di Mezza is the Deputy CEO of the Aged, Carer and Advocacy Service (ADACAS) and a solicitor based in the ACT. She holds a Masters of International Law with majors in human rights. She provides advocacy for older people, people with disabilities and people with mental health issues in the ACT.