8 Elder L. Rev. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/elr8 and id is 1 raw text is: EDITORIAL

'Providing for quality care in later life is a key concern of Australians as they age.. .It will be
more pronounced with the ageing of our population.' This pertinent observation highlights
the growing importance of caregiving and elder services in the context of a rapidly ageing
Australian population, and encapsulates some of the ideas explored in the articles included in
this year's edition of the Elder Law Review, appropriately themed 'Caring and the Law'.
Reflections on quality care for older people raise various philosophical and ethical questions
about the nature of care, approaches to the practice of caring, and the value placed on caring
by society. These issues are considered in 'The Disability Critique of Care', where Jonathan
Herring examines the critique of the voluminous body of ethics of care literature from a
disability perspective. He highlights the utility of ethics of care in challenging common
understandings of legal rights and responsibilities, arguing that laws should 'start with a norm
of interlocking mutually dependent relationships, rather than an individualised vision of
rights', as is typically the case, in order to ultimately assist society to 'uphold and maintain
caring relationships'.
The significance of reciprocal caregiving relationships in the recognition of testamentary
promises under family provision legislation is analysed by Malcolm Voyce in 'Testamentary
Promises, Family Provision and Family Farmers' in the context of succession to family
farms. As a result of limitations arising from family provision laws, which require the
claimant to establish need and the court to consider the actions of a 'wise and just' testator,
the author posits that courts have been prepared to recognise only the 'shadow', but not the
'substance', of testamentary promises. Instead, he contends from a sociological perspective
that such 'reciprocal understandings within the context of intergenerational exchange of
labour and land' should not be ignored.
Care is broadly explored in our Feature Article for this edition, entitled 'Care in Australian
Retirement Villages' by Richard McCullagh, which contains a national overview of
retirement village law and living from a variety of angles, including regulatory, social and
financial perspectives. The care features of retirement village living are discussed, as are
Centrelink carer benefits and the capacity for movement between retirement villages and
residential aged care facilities where appropriate. The author highlights some benefits and
drawbacks of retirement village living compared to other accommodation alternatives and
argues for the likelihood of their continued popularity among, and suitability for, certain
In a related piece, Sue Field reviews Richard McCullagh's recent book Retirement Village
Law in NSW, identifying it as a comprehensive publication and useful tool for elder law
practitioners, successfully filling a void in the literature where no other book of its nature had
previously been written. Sue Field also provides a review of Patricia Edgar's 'imminently
readable and thoroughly researched book' In Praise of Ageing, which identifies a number of
myths and stereotypes associated with ageing and seeks to refute these myths with stories of
success and achievement accomplished by people that 'many in society would say...have
reached their use by date'.
1 Access Economics, 'The Future of Aged Care in Australia' (Discussion Paper, National Seniors Australia,
September 2010) 3.

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