Support for Decision-Making as People Age with a Cognitive Impairment

Authored by: Terry Carney , Shih-Ning Then

Handbook on Ageing with Disability

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138611498
eBook ISBN: 9780429465352
Adobe ISBN:


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Today, there is a growing literature on support for decision-making for each of the four main groups of people with cognitive impairment. However, there is little direct research on decision support implications of ageing with a pre-existing cognitive impairment due to an intellectual disability, acquired brain injury, or mental illness. Ageing with a cognitive disability raises disability-specific issues such as loss of close family or other previously relied on social supports, as well as ageing-specific complications such as discrimination in the form of ageism, risks of elder abuse and navigating residential aged care systems. This chapter argues that a genuine solution to these issues can only be found in the development of personalised and flexibly adaptive forms of social supports for cognitively impaired people as they enter and traverse this life stage. The chapter seeks to address the extent to which law reform is necessary to accommodate support for decision-making for people ageing with cognitive impairment. It also reviews some developments of services specifically geared towards capacity-building development or facilitation of support for decision-making.

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