Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry

Summary

The Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization. Nidus provides information in British Columbia about personal planning, specializing in Representation Agreements (supported decision-making agreement) and also operates a centralized Registry for personal planning documents.

Issue addressed

Nidus provides counseling in personal planning and making arrangements, in case a person needs help managing his/her affairs during their lifetime, because of illness, injury, or disability. Nidus has particular expertise in preparing individualized Representation Agreements and supporting people in using this instrument.

Background information

Nidus/RARC was founded by citizens and community groups who were involved in the community-based reform of  British Columbia’s adult guardianship legislation. These groups wanted to ensure the public had a resource for information on Representation Agreements and other personal planning tools. The founding groups were the Alzheimer Society of BC, BC Association for Community Living, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities, Council of Senior Citizen’s Organizations, Family Link, and Network of Burnaby Seniors.

In 2008, RARC changed its name to the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre, to better reflect the broadening scope of its work as a resource centre, which had expanded beyond just Representation Agreements. Nidus is the expert on Representation Agreements, which are a legal model for supported decision making.  B.C.’s Representation Agreement Act inspired Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (2008) which calls on governments to implement legislation that ensures all adults receive support with decision making without the need to take away or restrict their rights.

Description of practice

Nidus provides do-it-yourself forms for Representation Agreements. No legal professional is required for making a Representation Agreement. There are different types of Agreements depending on individual needs.

Nidus provides support in the following situations:

  • Helping a Relative with a Disability
  • Capable Adults Planning for the Future
  • Caring for an Older Adult Who Needs Help

 

Nidus provides counseling to ensure that all the steps for personal planning include:

  • Gathering information on legal documents and how they apply to the individual.
  • Identifying personal supporters: personal supporters can be friends or family members whom the person trusts.
  • Discussing roles, duties, and areas of authority to be covered (health care, personal care, financial affairs, and legal affairs).
  • Making the relevant legal documents.
  • Registering completed documents with the Nidus Registry.
  • Distributing copies of the completed documents as needed.
  • Reviewing the documents once a year with the personal supporters.

 

The Nidus Personal Planning Registry allows to store information and documents related to personal planning and make them available when needed.  Third parties can be authorized to search in the Registry.

Individuals can grant permission to ‘health and personal care type institutions’ – such as hospitals or residential care if authorized as Access Users – to access information and documents if the person is not capable or able to communicate. This can help them locate the legally authorized decision maker and any instructions or expressions the person put in writing about care he/she do or do not want, so that the wishes of this individual can be known and honored.

Individual can grant permission to ‘financial and legal type  institutions’ – such as financial institutions, the Public Guardian and Trustee, provincial and federal government services if authorized as Access Users –  if the person is not capable or able to communicate. This can help them locate the legally authorized decision maker. This can be a safeguard for the wishes of the person.

Analysis

Nidus offers an incredible amount of information, as they have started during the preparation of the Representation Agreement Act and have more than 10 years of practical experiences with the implementation of the Representation Agreement.

Nidus has created many instruments, such as the Planning Circle Exercise: Identifying Your Personal Supporters, which allows to plan who will be the support persons in a representation agreement.

Nidus also prepared forms to allow each individual to creates his or her personalised Representation Agreeement. Each agreement is made on the basis of the existing relationship of the person. There is no ready-made or ‘off the shelf forms’.

Nidus also offers support to prepare Enduring Power of Attorney, Advance Directive or Living will, which can complement Representation Agreement.

Nidus also does trainings for different target groups.

Nidus presents a number of individual stories and cases which help anybody to understand how it works in practice.

There is no obligation to register all Representation Agreements in BC, because there is no money to keep a data-base. Therefore there is no real overview of the number of Representation Agreements. However, Nidus has been pushing for improvements in this area.

More information

www.nidus.ca

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