Assistance for Personal Decision Making
The Assistance for Personal Decision Making program helps families and individuals examine substitute decision making options for vulnerable adults. This includes personal directives, supported decision making, co-decision making, or guardianship. We provide assistance to complete the complex and required documents. Call CMHA at 403-342-2266 for an appointment with our Decision Making Assistance System Navigator if you are interested in any of these programs.
The Assistance for Personal Decision Making program is for individuals interested in options under the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act (AGTA). This includes:
Supported Decision Making
Supported decision-making is used when an adult has the capacity to make their own decisions but have decided they would like some help. This adult signs a form that authorizes someone that they trust to be their “supporter”. This supporter can then access relevant information and help the adult think through the decision making process and communicate these decisions. Supported decision-making can be used for a person who faces complex personal decisions, for a person whose first language is not English, and for
In a situation where an adult is significantly impaired but they are still able to make decisions with good support; a co-decision-making order can be an alternative to guardianship. In this arrangement, the adult must agree to the co-decision-making order as well as who will be the appointed person to help with the decisions. The Court must grant a co-decision-making order.
If an adult does not have the capacity to make personal decisions, the Court may appoint a guardian to make personal decisions for them. If a family member or friend is not the guardian, the Office of the Public Guardian can act as the guardian.
Specific Decision Making
This last type of decision making can be made by health care providers such as physicians, nurses, or dentists. Health care professionals are able to make a one-time decision on behalf of an adult who lacks capacity. These decisions would be related to health care treatment or temporary admission to or discharge from a residential facility.
A personal directive is a legal document that any Albertan over the age of 18 should have. To complete a personal directive, you choose someone that you trust to make decisions about your personal matters for you if, in the future, you lose your ability to do so because of illness or injury. A personal directive will allow you to express your wishes surrounding health care, who will look after your children, where you’d like to live, who you’d like to live with, your spiritual beliefs, etc. A personal directive is not a will, it is only put in place as a precaution in case you’re ever unable to make decisions for yourself. If you get better, you can take back the power to make your own decisions.
In the event that an adult lacks the capacity to make their own financial decisions, the Court may appoint a trustee. Typically the trustee is a family member or friend, but the Office of the Public Trustee can be appointed if necessary. To apply to be a trustee, please contact the Office of the Public Guardian or Public Trustee for an application package. For questions, please contact the Office of the Public Trustee: Edmonton: 780-427-2744 Calgary: 403-297-6541, Toll-free: 310-0000
More information about the specific decision making options can be found at the Government of Alberta’s website: