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Capacity and Consent: Canadian Seniors

Canadian laws generally presume that seniors are capable of making their own decisions concerning where they live, their health treatments, and finances.

Capacity and Consent: Canadian Seniors

Legal Capacity

A person has legal capacity when they can understand and appreciate the consequences of a decision.

Seniors who cannot make decisions independently may need assistance or support to exercise their legal capacity.

In Canada, laws and decision-making processes may vary significantly depending on the province or territory where you live.

Decision-Making Processes include:

1) Substitute decision-making: involves making decisions on someone else's behalf. Examples include Powers of Attorney, Guardianship, and Trusteeship Order.

2) Supported Decision-Making:  involves support and accommodations provided by a supporter to assist a person in making and communicating decisions.

3) Co-decision-making:  involves joint decision-making between a person and an appointed co-decision-maker.

4) Specific Decision-Making refers to a one-time decision made by a substitute decision-maker on behalf of a person lacking capacity.

5) Representation agreements permit a "representative" to make legally enforceable decisions on a person's behalf.

Please refer to the links below to learn more about capacity and consent and which decision-making models are available in your province or territory.

Capacity and Consent: Canadian Seniors is one in a series of Information Tools developed by NICE.

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You should not rely on information tools for medical, financial or legal advice. It provides general information only. NICE is not responsible for any use of the information other than for general educational/informational purposes and no claim can be made against NICE or any of its personnel for any such use.

Last Updated:
July 21, 2024
Capacity and Consent: Canadian Seniors
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