Medical Staff Portal

Capacity Assessment

Understanding Decision-Making Capacity

What is Capacity?

It’s all about making decisions! Having capacity means you can understand information important for making a decision and can appreciate the consequences of that decision. When making a decision, an adult should be able to:

  • Take in key information,
  • Think about the pros and cons
  • Make a decision, based on his/her values

Facts about Capacity

It is assumed that all adults have capacity to make their own decisions. Capacity assessment is a process used to determine whether an adult is still able to make his/her own decisions. There must be proof that the capacity assessment is needed and the adult needs someone else to help make decisions.

Capacity is NOT a medical diagnosis, and it is NOT determined by performance in daily tasks. Making a risky decision, or a decision others do not agree with, does not necessarily mean that the adult lacks capacity.

It is possible to have capacity to make certain types of decisions but not others. For example, an adult may have capacity to choose where to live, but not have capacity to manage his/her money. If an adult does not have capacity, steps can be taken to help them make decisions. Capacity can fluctuate over time.

When Should Capacity Be Assessed?

Capacity should be assessed when:

  • An adult makes choices or behaves differently than they usually do, which puts themselves, or others, at risk
  • This change seems to be a result of impaired decision-making
  • There is conflict surrounding the decision.  For example, an adult does not want to give up driving when they should because of safety concerns.

How Is Capacity Assessed?

The assessment usually includes:

  • Getting information on the risk caused by the adult’s decisions from the adult/caregivers
  • Working with the adult to find out his/her strengths and limitations
  • Problem-solving by the health care team to try and resolve the issue 

If the issue is not resolved, a staff member will formally interview the adult to determine his/her capacity in a specific area.

The formal interview looks at whether the adult:

  • Understands the facts about a decision
  • Understands what might happen if they make one choice over another

Areas of Decision-Making

The decision an adult has to make can be assessed in any of the following areas:

  • Health care
  • Accommodation
  • Choice of associates
  • Social activities       
  • Education/Training     
  • Employment
  • Legal affairs      
  • Finances 

Capacity assessments are only done in the area of concern. For example, if an adult is refusing much-needed surgery and appears to lack capacity, the capacity assessment will only be done for the area of health care.

Capacity Assessment Resources

Legal Acts

Personal Directive Act

  • Allows an adult to name a person he/she trusts (an agent) to make decisions on his/her behalf
  • Deals with personal decisions, including medical care, but not financial matters
  • Set up by an adult when he/she has capacity, and activated when the adult loses capacity

Powers of Attorney Act

  • Allows an adult to name a person to assist him/her with handling his/her finances and property
  • Deals with financial matters or property only
  • Set up by an adult when he/she has capacity and activated when the adult loses capacity

Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act

Co-Decision-Making

  • Capacity is significantly impaired, but the adult can make personal decisions (not financial) with guidance and support.
  • The adult will be assisted by the co-decision-maker to make decisions together.

Guardianship

  • Legal process which gives an adult (called a guardian) the legal right to make or help make decisions about non-financial matters on behalf of another adult who lacks capacity
  • Deals with personal matters (e.g. health care, accommodation), but not finances

Trusteeship

  • Legal process which gives an adult (called a trustee), the legal right to make, or help make, decisions about financial matters on behalf of another adult who lacks capacity
  • Financial matters include personal property, realty, money, investments and income

Additional Resources       

Understanding Personal Directives

Guide to Capacity Assessment under the Personal Directives Act

Personal Directives – Choosing Now for the Future 

Personal Directive Registry Brochure 

Capacity Assessment Process PPT 

Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act Materials

Understanding Guardianship 

Understanding Co-Decision Making 

Co-Decision Making Under AGTA 

Specific Decision Making Under AGTA  

Supported Decision Making Under AGTA 

Guardianship Under AGTA 

Decision Making Options Under AGTA  

Capacity Assessment Brochure Under AGTA  

Protective Measures Investigations Under AGTA  

Alternatives for Financial Management Materials

Understanding Enduring Powers of Attorney  

Informal Trusteeship 

Legal Forms & Schedules

Personal Directive Schedules

Schedule 1 -  Personal Directive  (Instruction sheet for Personal Directive)
Schedule 2 - Declaration of Incapacity-agent with physician consultation
Schedule 3 - Declaration of Incapacity-service provider
Schedule 4 - Regained Capacity-agent initiated
Schedule 5 - Regained Capacity-service provider initiated
Schedule 6 - Regained Capacity-agent and service provider disagree
Schedule 7 - Complaint to the Public Guardian Respecting an Agent named in a Personal Directive

Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Forms

Supported Decision-Making

Supported Decision-Making Authorization
Termination of Supported Decision-Making Authorization

Co-Decision-Making

Capacity Assessment Report for Co-Decision-Making  
Application for Appointment of a Co-Decision-Maker

Guardianship or Trusteeship or Both

Capacity Assessment Report - Guardianship or Trusteeship or Both 
Application for a Guardian, Trustee or Both

Specific Decision-Making

Specific Decision-Making (Schedule) 
Instructions for Health Care Providers

Temporary Admission to Residential Facility

Capacity Assessment Report for Health Care or Temporary Admission to a Residential Facility 

Filing a Complaint

Complaint Respecting a Co-Decision-Maker, Guardian or Trustee  

Capacity Assessment Support Service

Capacity Assessment Support Service (CASS) 

The Capacity Assessment Support Service was created to support the Covenant Health Decision-Making Capacity (DMC) Model which is in keeping with the Covenant Health policy. The services offered will include guidance, problem solving and education (workshops and in-services.)

This service is designed to assist the Covenant Health Sites: Misericordia, Grey Nuns, Villa Caritas and Rural Covenant Health sites.

To access this service please complete the attached request form and fax it to (780-735-2391). Please note the Capacity Assessment Resource Person is available on Mondays only.  Your request will be addressed on the Monday following the receipt of the request excluding Statutory Holidays.

For general inquiries, please contact 780-735-2390 and press 3 to leave a message.        

Tara Kilkenny
Occupational Therapist
Capacity Assessment Resource Person
780.735.2390
Tara.Kilkenny@covenanthealth.ca

Dr.Lesley Charles
Physician
780.474.8827
Lesley.Charles@albertahealthservices.ca

Lisa Robanske
Unit Clerk
780.735.2390
lisa.robanske@covenanthealth.ca

CASS Poster

CASS Referral Form

Education Sessions

View the Education Calendar for upcoming workshops and brown bag sessions.

Decision-Making Capacity Interactive Workshops

Instructors: Physicians, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Designated Capacity Assessors

Times
: Held twice per year

Locations: Grey Nuns Hospital and Misericordia Community Hospital

Course Description: In this workshop, participants will be provided with an overview of an established interdisciplinary model for the assessment of decision-making capacity of adults. Learning activities include pre-workshop readings, participating in exercises and completion of a capacity assessment process worksheet based on presented case studies.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the workshop participants will:

  • Be able to define capacity and the underlying guiding principles
  • Understand the Legislative Acts and their impact on the assessment of decision-making capacity
  • Be familiar with the CH capacity assessment model
  • Apply a capacity assessment process using case studies

Brown Bag Sessions

The brown bag sessions are presentations on the latest information regarding assessment of decision-making capacity which covers topics requested by staff members, case studies, updates on legislative acts, schedules and forms, and many other practical topics useful for staff involved in assessments.

Capacity Assessment Mentoring Team - Grey Nuns

For general inquires about the Capacity Assessment pages or the program, contact Lisa Robanske, Unit Clerk, at 780.735.2390 or lisa.robanske@covenanthealth.ca.

Mentoring Team Roles

  • Support and Guidance to attending teams in using the Covenant Health Capacity Assessment Model
  • Planning and implementation of education/information sessions and staff education workshops, as needed  
  • Seeking educational opportunities and promotion of model

Grey Nuns

Anita Gajadhar
Occupational Therapist
780.735.7161
Anita.Gajadhar@covenanthealth.ca

Binder Dhillon
Social Worker
780.735.7479
Binder.Dhillon@covenanthealth.ca  

Brenda Vos
Social Worker, DCA
780.735.7583
Brenda.Vos@covenanthealth.ca

Jill Osborn
Social Worker
780.735.9706
Jill.Osborn@covenanthealth.ca

Dr. Lesley Charles
Lesley.Charles@albertahealthservices.ca

Nicole Kostiuk
Psychologist
780.735.7490
Nicole.Kostiuk@albertahealthservices.ca

Pat Gerrie
Social Worker, DCA
Tel. 780.735.7808
Pgr. 780.445.3043
Pat.Gerrie@covenanthealth.ca

Capacity Assessment Mentoring Team - Misericordia

For general inquires about the Capacity Assessment pages or the program, contact Lisa Robanske, Unit Clerk, at 780.735.2390 or lisa.robanske@covenanthealth.ca.

Mentoring Team Roles

  • Support and Guidance to attending teams in using the Covenant Health Capacity Assessment Model
  • Planning and implementation of education/information sessions and staff education workshops, as needed  
  • Seeking educational opportunities and promotion of model

Misericordia

Bonnie Launhardt RN MN
Program Manager, Medicine
780.735.9318
Bonnie.Launhardt@covenanthealth.ca 

Cathy Nowicki
Occupational Therapist
780.735.2757
Catherine.Nowicki@covenanthealth.ca

Gwen Thompson (Chair)
NP Internal Medicine
Gwen.Thompson@albertahealthservices.ca

Gladys Boateng
Transition Co-ordinator, Villa Caritas
Phone: 780-342-6523
Pager: 780-445-5171
Gladys.Boateng@covenanthealth.ca

Jessica Foulston
Social Worker
780.735.9246
Jessica.Foulston@covenanthealth.ca

Lisa Robanske
Unit Clerk
780.735.2390
Lisa.Robanske@covenanthealth.ca

Rudolph Kutama
Social Worker
780.224.8635
Rudolph.Kutama@covenanthealth.ca

Tara Kilkenny
Capacity Assessment Support Service
Occupational Therapist
780.735.2390
Tara.Kilkenny@covenanthealth.ca

 

Capacity Assessment Mentoring Teams - Other Covenant Health Sites

For general inquires about the Capacity Assessment pages or the program, contact Lisa Robanske, Unit Clerk, at 780.735.2390 or lisa.robanske@covenanthealth.ca.

Mentoring Team Roles

  • Support and Guidance to attending teams in using the Covenant Health Capacity Assessment Model
  • Planning and implementation of education/information sessions and staff education workshops, as needed  
  • Seeking educational opportunities and promotion of model

Youville Home -St. Albert

Donna Brown
Social Worker
780.460.6921
Donna.Brown@covenanthealth.ca