Legal Capacity for people with Dementia

Type: Video 57 mins
Supporting Aged Care Quality Standard: 1

Legal and medical practitioners view dementia from different perspectives. Medical practitioners provide a clinical diagnosis and treatment for clients with dementia. Legal practitioners determine if the client has enough capacity to instruct a Lawyer in their legal matters.

Legal matters vary in complexity. Lawyers need an understanding of the level of capacity required for a client to participate competently in their legal matters. This presentation will discuss legal capacity and strategies to support a person with dementia increase their legal capacity.


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Keryn Ruska

Keryn was admitted as a solicitor in 1998 and has worked in practice, government and academia.

Keryn spent a number of years as a solicitor and Coordinator of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal Service. Keryn has contributed to advocacy and law reform on issues affecting Indigenous women and their families. Keryn also spent ten years as an academic at Griffith University. Keryn joined Caxton’s Family and Elder Law Team in 2015 providing advice and contributing to law reform in elder abuse, family law, domestic violence and child protection.

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Frances Privitera

Frances completed a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Queensland in 2006.

Frances has worked with children in care, in hospitals and for the past six years in the field of elder abuse at Caxton. Frances is interested in human behaviour and the motivations that drive us. Her other interests include Law and Social Work, trauma and PTSD, palliative care and grief and loss/bereavement.



  • Develop an understanding of legal capacity for a client diagnosed with dementia
  • Identify and implement strategies to increase a client’s legal capacity


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