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Storrar Cowdry News Archive

Health & Welfare Lasting Powers Of Attorney – Covid And Care Homes

9 November, 2020

At Storrar Cowdry Solicitors we are experiencing an increase in enquires about Health & Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Many concerned families have read about a particularly distressing case in the media recently regarding a daughter who was arrested for attempting to remove her mother from a care home. The daughter, who is stated to be a nurse, wanted to bring her 97 year old mother home to be with family before the new covid lockdown began. 

The family did not have a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney for mum, they only had the Lasting Power of Attorney for finances. A Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney covers decisions such as the type of health care and medical treatment you receive and where you live.

Many elderly people in care homes have been unable to see their loved ones for over six months as during the first lockdown and after, most care home visits were halted. The government has issued new guidance, published on the 4th November 2020, for use during this second lockdown, which does not contain a blanket ban per se on visits. However, many leading charities have pointed out that the new guidelines are too restrictive and inappropriate for many residents, particularly those with dementia.

If you have an elderly relative or a loved one with an underlying health condition, it has never been more important for there to be a personalised care plan in place backed up with a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare so a carefully chosen attorney(s) can assist with decision making in the event the individual is too ill to make their wishes known. If there is no Health & Welfare Power of Attorney, the state – for example social services or the local authority, will decide for you. 

Lasting Powers of Attorney can be created by any individual (but only whilst they have the capacity to do so). By creating the Lasting Power of Attorney, a person gives the attorney legal authority to make decisions on their behalf, the idea being that those involved have discussions about what the individual would want to happen in particular circumstances. The Lasting Power of Attorney document, once properly registered, can be added to your GP and hospital records. At a time of great distress, knowing a loved ones wishes regarding medical or care treatment and having the legal power to implement those wishes can make a shocking situation a little less distressing.

For further information about Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact Gill Knowles on 01244 400567 or email: gillian.knowles@storrarcowdry.co.uk

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