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Why a Power of Attorney for health and care decisions is a good idea

View profile for Jordan Calpin
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Why a Power of Attorney for health and care decisions is a good idea

You may have seen the recent news reports regarding a woman who was detained by the Police after she removed her 97-year-old mother, who has dementia, from her care home. It was reported that Mrs Angeli, a qualified nurse, was concerned for her mother’s well-being due to the lack of face to face contact and isolation from her family during the pandemic.  She therefore decided to take matters into her own hands and remove her mother from the care home. Unfortunately, it transpired that the family did not have the legal authority to take this action.  Whilst the family held a Power of Attorney for dealing with her finances, they did not have the authority to act with respect to her health and wellbeing. Had her mother made a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, it would have been a different outcome.

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare is a legal document which allows you to appoint people you trust to make decisions on your behalf relating to your personal health and welfare decisions, if you have lost capacity to make those decisions yourself. Your chosen attorney must act in your best interests at all times when making decisions on matters such as; where you should live, the medical treatment you receive and even on whether to continue life sustaining treatment.

If Mrs Angeli had been appointed as her mother’s Health and Welfare Attorney then she would have had the authority to remove her mother from the care home, if she felt that this was in her mother’s best interests.

If you would like advice on the drawing up of a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney, then please contact our specialist team would will be very happy to assist.