University of Technology Sydney

78600 Dementia: What Lawyers Need to Know

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is designed for legal professionals. The overall aim is for participants to learn and apply the knowledge and skills necessary to be a ‘dementia-capable’ professional.

A dementia-capable legal practitioner:

  • Knows current factual information on dementia, including types, symptoms and causes
  • Identifies and responds comprehensively to legal issues and risks for people with dementia
  • Is client-centred and focuses on abilities and strengths
  • Uses effective and respectful communication techniques
  • Understands principles of decision-making capacity
  • Has the knowledge and skills to identify when client capacity may be in question and to respond appropriately
  • Understands and is able to apply strategies of supported decision-making for people with dementia
  • Understand and fulfils ethical duties to clients who live with conditions that affect capacity
  • Uses preventive strategies to protect people with dementia from exploitation and abuse
  • Is aware of and has referral pathways to relevant services and programs for people with dementia and family members/carers
  • Identifies and responds appropriately to the needs of diverse persons with dementia, including Indigenous people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and LGBTI people

The subject covers the above topic areas. In doing so, the subject provides essential practice-relevant training to enable lawyers to fulfil their professional duties and provide effective services for people with dementia. With an ageing population, lawyers across many areas of practice can expect to encounter people living with dementia or other neurocognitive conditions.

The objective of the assessments is to provide opportunities for participants to:

  • develop their own Dementia-Capable Toolkit that they use to prepare and justify a plan of action when advising a client with dementia
  • reflect on their learning and develop ‘gerontological literacy’, which means that legal practitioners are aware of and able to apply knowledge from the gerontological health and social sciences into legal practice and policy.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.