It is important that seniors select a responsible individual to appoint Power of Attorney to handle their personal, medical and financial affairs. It is also imperative that this is designated through the proper legal channels, so as to name the person they wish to handle their affairs, documented in a legally binding document, before something bad happens.
What is Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney is a legal designation that gives the individual selected the power to make financial, health and personal decisions for the senior when they are no longer able to make such decisions for themselves. Those who are given Power of Attorney are referred to as “agents” and more than one person can be selected to act on the senior’s behalf.
There are a number of ways to structure a senior’s Power of Attorney so as to meet the needs of the senior and the situation. Different individuals can be appointed to handle different elements of the senior’s estate and the time at which the Power of Attorney would go into effect should also be noted. In most cases, Power of Attorney goes into effect when the senior is incapacitated or is no longer able to make important decisions for themselves. In many countries, the inability to make personal decisions must be verified by a physician before the Power of Attorney will go into effect.
Without a durable Power of Attorney on file, courts are required to step in to determine who will be appointed in the event that the senior becomes incapacitated. Spouses or family members will have to go to court to obtain Power of Attorney in order to handle their loved one’s affairs.
What is Health Care or Medical Power of Attorney?
A medical or health care Power of Attorney is a specific and limited designation that allows the senior to choose an individual to handle their medical affairs and make medically-related decisions on their behalf. Seniors can choose anyone they want to handle this aspect of their personal affairs from a family member, trusted friend, or homecare provider.
This should be a person who is in communication with the senior’s health care providers, as well as someone who is well versed in the senior’s medical conditions and wishes. Carefully choose a responsible medical Power of Attorney if this route is chosen, as this individual will be in control of medical decisions as well as treatment decisions in the event that the senior is no longer able to make the decisions on their own.
All of the senior’s health care providers should be informed if a medical Power of Attorney is designated. This will reduce any confusion or problems that could come about when trying to manage the seniors care at a later time.
Who Should I Give Power of Attorney To?
Generally, a responsible family member or friend is entrusted with Power of Attorney in order to manage the seniors’ estate with their best interest in mind. It is important to be careful who one dedicates Power of Attorney to as seniors are all too often taken for granted by friends or caregivers and scammed out of their estates. Ensure that the person chosen to handle the senior’s affairs is trustworthy and also has the willingness and capability to manage the estate. It is important to reiterate that more than one person can be chosen to manage the various aspects of one’s affairs, so different people more qualified to handle different aspects can be chosen.
So long as one is cogent and able to make their own decisions, Power of Attorney is not set in stone. Permissions can be revoked or additional parties can be added at the senior’s discretion. Ensure that whoever is chosen is contacted and approves of the decision, as they must be willing and able to carry out the handling of one’s personal, financial and medical affairs.
At Carefect homecare services, we provide the highest quality, affordable in-home services for seniors with a varying array of needs. We provide a free in-home assessment that helps to identify the way in which we can provide for the best care plan for the senior. Our caregivers are well trained and provide constant communication between senior and family to keep the family apprised of the seniors’ status. There is also constant communication between caregivers, health care providers and family so that any changes in the senior’s health condition is immediately addressed.