Supported decision-making | How it works
Give someone authority to access your personal information, and help you make and communicate your decisions.
What’s important to know
Planning ahead is the smart thing to do. Every Albertan who is 18 years of age or older should have:
Learn about supported decision-making (Video: 2 mins, 5.1 MB)
Supported decision-making is for someone who is capable of making their own decisions.
You can write a supported decision-making in your home. You don’t have to submit any documents to the court or the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. As soon as you and your witness sign the form below, it’s a legal document.
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Although you may be capable of making your own decisions, there are times when you might want support.
For example, if you were ill or did not speak English well, it would be nice to have a family member or friend attend a doctor’s appointment with you. They can share your questions or concerns with the doctor.
Supported decision-making lets you give someone you trust legal authority to:
- access relevant personal information about you (e.g. health care records)
- think through a decision with you
- communicate a decision for you
The person you choose is called your “supporter”.
You can have up to 3 supporters and you can choose the areas where each has authority (e.g. health care, employment, etc.).
You may not need this type of support now, but planning ahead is a smart thing to do. Write a supported decision-making agreement at the same time as you write a personal directive or a will.
Why do this?
We often rely on family and friends to help us make decisions, but there are limits to what they can do without legal authority.
For example, your doctor can’t talk to one of your family members about your treatment unless you give them permission to do so. It’s considered personal information.
With a supported decision-making agreement in place, your doctor, pharmacist, care facility manager, etc. can speak directly with your supporter and discuss information that’s considered personal.
You still make your own decisions but your supporter can help you communicate your questions, your wants, your decisions, etc.
What’s an example?
If you were having chemotherapy and were not feeling well, your supporter could talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how you are doing and ask questions about your treatment.
Supported decision-making is also helpful for people who don’t speak English well. Your supporter could talk with your doctor and help you understand test results.
How long does it take?
When you sign the form below, it is effective immediately.
Is there a cost?
There is no cost.
How do I set this arrangement up?
Sign the form below:
Keep your copy of the signed form in a safe place.
Make copies and give them to your supporter, your doctor and other key people, such as the manager of your care facility.
What if I don't want someone to be my supporter anymore?
You can end the arrangement at any time by signing the form below.
Make copies and give them to your new and past supporter, your doctor and other key people.