Entries by Brian Herd

What is a Death Doula?

Some years ago I wrote about an unusual occupation – a music thanatologist – someone who plays music to the dying. The preferred instrument of choice is, apparently, the harp. While technology spurs all sorts of creative businesses and services to facilitate our daily lives, death and dying also seems to be spawning discrete services […]

I just want to go home

Very few people want to stay in a hospital or an aged care facility. However, we often hear of hospitals complaining about ‘bed blockers’ – they’re usually referring to older patients for which the hospital says they can do no more but the patient won’t, or can’t, leave the hospital. This arises usually where, for […]

Dear Lawyers – A little birdie told me something

For all you lawyers (and even financial advisers) out there who occasionally dip their little finger to taste that fine vintage known as elder law, beware. A little birdie recently told me that the next possible target of attack on lawyers’ competence and professional standards will be those who draft family agreements or what are […]

Smile! – Not in my bedroom (or ensuite)!

As a way of addressing concerns about the quality of care in Aged Care, there has been a recent public push for the installation of CCTV in resident’s rooms in Aged Care Facilities. Just last week, for example, a Bill was introduced in the South Australian Parliament for just that purpose. I have no doubt […]

To all you elder abusers out there

You probably know how the law is supine as a tool for pursuing your abuse or even in discouraging it. As a result, you mostly get away with it. You have a sense of immunity emboldened and inoculated, ironically, by the inertness of the law itself. So here’s a thought. What if: We had a […]

Laughing and Learning

I have been giving presentations to older peoples’ interest groups and organisations for a long time now. They tend to target what I call ‘later life issues’ particularly those aspects of our lives we tend to want to avoid as the future gets closer, if not clearer. My approach is to make the presentations both […]

Trump on elder law

On any definition, Donald Trump is one – an elder. We are attuned to expect the unexpected and sometimes offensive tweets from him mixed with self-proclaimed good news for some and bad news for others. Recently, however, Trump signed into law the Senior Safe Act. The new law, with bipartisan support, extends immunity for individuals […]

Elder Law strikes again

A new publication entitled “Elder Law – A Guide to Working with Older Australians” has just been published by Federation Press. Among many other distinguished contributors, I have authored the somewhat topical chapter on “Residential Aged Care Facilities and Home Care” For more details on this essential handbook on all you need to know about […]

Aged care and the law of roughness

For a very long time, it seems, the concept of roughness did not appear as an issue in the legal landscape. As a topic of conversation, we may have had social discussions in parent groups about  boys engaging in rough play but that was usually held to be just ‘normal’ developmental behaviour. In recent times, […]