Planning your future
it is a fundamental human right to make our own decisions about the care and treatment we receive, unless we are unable to do so.
However hard it is to imagine now, there may come a time when you lack capacity to make all of your own decisions. Medical conditions, for example stroke, sudden brain injury or a progressive disease of the brain like dementia, can all affect our mental capacity.
This could happen to any of us, and if it did, we would want to feel confident that our interests were protected.
Fortunately, the law does offer this protection. It sets out who has the legal authority to make decisions on our behalf, when they can do this and how. The law enables us to plan for a time in the future when may lack capacity to make all of our own decisions. We can make sure our wishes are followed by granting a power of attorney and or making an advance decision to refuse medical treatment.
Powers of attorney
You can choose to plan ahead by giving another trusted person authority to make decisions on your behalf in the future. A power of attorney is a legal document that grants this power. You can appoint one or more attorneys providing you are over 18 years of age and have the mental capacity to understand what you are doing.
There a two types of power of attorney:
- Health and welfare
- Property and financial affairs.
You can choose to grant a power of attorney for either health and welfare or properly and financial affairs, or both.
Health and welfare power of attorney
A health and welfare attorney can make decisions about your care and treatment if you lose capacity to do so. This might include for example:
- Giving consent to care plans about your routine day to day care ( what to wear, eat, what time to get up, etc..........)
- Deciding where you are going to live
- Consenting to medical care and in some cases, life sustaining treatment
Property and affairs power of attorney
A property and affairs attorney can manage your bank or building society account, pay your bills, collect benefits or a pensions, sell your home etc. You can grant your attorney for property and affairs power to act whilst you still have capacity to make your own financial decisions.
What you need to do
The first step is to choose the right person (s) to act as your attorney or attorneys. They must be over 18 years of age and willing and able to act on your behalf. if you are appointing more than one attorney decide whether you want them to make decisions separately or together.
The second step is to fill in the standard forms. You do not have to ask a lawyer to do this for you.You can find the forms on the government website.
The extent of the attorney's powers will depend upon the legal authority that you choose to grant them. Consider this carefully, it may be a good idea to talk it over with a close friend.
The third step is to register the power of attorney. For your attorney to be able to act on your behalf they must be registered with the office of the public guardian. You can do this now or when it is needed. The form must be sent to the office of the Public Guardian with the fee (£110).
You can contact the office of the Pub lic Guardian for more information at:
How to find the right care for you or your relative
1. Find your local office
Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.
2. Get in touch with us
Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.
We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.
4. Care team chosen & care starts
You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.