After the controversial news story circulated this week, that a retired nurse had been arrested for trying to remove her 97year old mother, from her care home* Registered Manager Ben Chudley reflects upon why he thinks its more important than ever to give proper consideration to who we would want to make decisions about how and where we receive care.
We have seen in the news reports that the woman’s daughter had decided to take ‘drastic action’ due to a lack of face to face contact during the pandemic.’
However she was arrested and her mother returned to the care home as the family had power of attorney over her finances and not her health and welfare.
‘This is obviously a shocking story that has personal implications for the family involved but it also has got everybody thinking about a few very important aspects of care provision.’
‘This distinction with regards to Lasting Power of Attorney is something that I would like to see more people aware of’ said Ben.
Appointing a Lasting power of attorney is an important legal decision and one that we often don’t begin to think about until its too late.’ If we were to become incapacitated or unwell, this person is able to provide valuable information about how we would like decisions to be made on our behalf.
The role of lasting power of attorney for health and welfare is different to the role regarding how our property and financial affairs are managed and if we do not appoint an individual to be this representative than it will not necessarily be assumed to be the same person.
‘This is where we often see confusion’ said Ben. Relatives may not even be aware that there are different types. And they may have been through the process of being appointed Property and financial (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), in order to make financial decisions to pay for care provision. However it is also important to give consideration to who your loved one would want to be appointed to make decisions about their health and welfare, such as where they live. ‘
‘As we see from the news story, this woman’s daughter has come to decide that in light of the impact of the pandemic, she believes that her mother could be better cared for at home. And as a nurse and a trusted financial decision maker for that person, it has been an incredible surprise for her to learn that she is not able to make this decision about where is best for her to live, because she hasn’t been appointed LPA for health and welfare.’
‘Putting in place a power of attorney can give you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs and I would urge everyone to give it some serious thought, sooner rather than later. ‘