Competence is a legal state, not a medical one. Competence refers to the degree of mental soundness necessary to make decisions about a specific issue or to carry out a specific act.
All adults are presumed to be competent unless adjudicated otherwise by a court. Capacity on the other hand, is defined as an individual's ability to make an informed decision. Within Skilled Nursing Facilities, staff must be able to differentiate between competence and capacity and to apply their understanding on a daily basis. Issues surrounding self-administration of medication, the pursuit of intimate relationships, the right to leave the facility are only a few of such examples. This class will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to make informed decisions concerning the competence and capacity of their residents.