A brief screening instrument for use by lawyers to assess the capacity of older clients with memory deficits

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


The number of people in Australia and around the world is increasing rapidly, particularly people over the age of 65. As part of the aging process, cases of dementia. cognitive impairment and mental iIIness become more prevalent. The issue of competence in this population has become more significant in recent years . Older people frequently face decisions that require the consultation of a lawyer, such as issues over wills and financial investments. Preventative law advocate lawyers act as therapeutic agents, preventing stress and discomfort in elderly clients making legal decisions. In order for practising lawyers to act as therapeutic agents, an ability to detect impaired decision making capacity in older adults is required. The present study explores this issue further.

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Access to this thesis is restricted. Please see the Access Note below for access details.