Better care for the elderly evident as rising number of people register for power of attorney
Power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that can be used to give another person the authority to make health care decisions, financial transactions, or sign legal documents that you may not be able to do for yourself for some reason, giving you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs.
Over 5 million UK residents have a registered lasting power of attorney in place giving them peace of mind that someone they trust is in charge of their affairs. In recent years, there has been a dramatic growth in registrations, reflecting a growing trend towards improved security and care for the elderly.
A high proportion of the UK elderly population are living independently or in care homes, so having power of attorneys in place can bring much-needed reassurance and allow for more informed financial planning.
If you’re aged 18 or older and have the mental capacity to make financial, property, and medical decisions for yourself, you can arrange for someone else to make these decisions for you in the future. The person making the power of attorney is called a donor and the person appointed to act on their behalf is called an attorney.
Powers of attorney may be short term – because you’re in hospital, abroad or you’re finding it harder to get out and about to the bank or post office, and you may need help with everyday tasks such as paying bills, or it may be longer-term – say, if you’ve have been diagnosed with dementia and risk losing your mental capacity to make important decisions.
There are two types of power of attorney and you can set up both:
Ordinary power of attorney
This covers decisions about your financial affairs and is only valid while you have mental capacity to make your own decisions. It is suitable if you need cover for a temporary period (hospital stay or holiday) or if you find it hard to get out, or you want someone to act for you. You can limit the power you give your attorney so that they can only deal with certain assets, for example, your bank account but not your home.
Lasting power of attorney (LPA)
LPAs are used if there comes a time when you don’t have the mental capacity to make your own decisions and you need to ensure you’re covered in the future. There are two types of LPA:
- For financial decisions:
- buying or selling property
- paying the mortgage, investing money & paying bills
- collecting pension or benefits
- For health and care decisions:
- your medical care
- moving into a care home
- your daily routine – washing, dressing, eating
- life-saving treatment
Setting up an LPA is set to get easier
The Office of the Public Guardian is responsible for processing LPA applications. Due to rising demand and Covid-related labour shortages, it currently takes around 20 weeks for an LPA to be processed. The current system is mainly paper-based. However, this could change in the near future as the government is now reviewing how to simplify the application process online.
Enduring power of attorney (EPAs) were replaced by LPAs in October 2007. However, if you made and signed an EPA before then, it should still be valid.
If you want to set up an ordinary power of attorney you should contact your local Citizen’s Advice or get advice from a solicitor. For help deciding if you should make a lasting power of attorney, contact the Office of the Public Guardian – email@example.com or telephone 0300 456 0300.
Click here to read seven steps to take when writing a will.
Other articles you may like
- How the elderly can benefit from GardeningHow the elderly can benefit from Gardening With the Summer solstice approaching and the sun shining just a littleContinue reading “How the elderly can benefit from Gardening”
- Easy-bake meatloafELIA’S EASY-BAKE MEATLOAF Who doesn’t like a freshly-baked meatloaf? It’s safe to say it’s a favourite amongst our residentsContinue reading “Easy-bake meatloaf”
- Give us a smile! Four Reasons to smile every dayNational Smile Month is upon us and here at Birchwood House, we’re all about sharing a friendly smile. Back in December of 2020, we launched Birchwood Smiles. It was a difficult time for us all, with the pandemic a major concern for many vulnerable people. With all staff in PPE, we wanted to make sure Birchwood House residents were still able to see a friendly face and so every team member wore a lanyard around their neck, with a large picture of their smiling face on it.
- A Taste of Days Gone By this AprilThis month we travelled back in time and turned the clocks right back for an afternoon of vintage 1940s fun. We enjoyed fabulous vintage-styled live entertainment, historically themed displays, and the nostalgic taste of wartime Britain during our 1940s-inspired Tea Dance.
- Spring Open dayWhether you’re looking for respite or permanent residential care Birchwood House warmly invites you to our Spring Open Day on Saturday 7th May from 12 – 4 pm. All key members of staff will be available to meet you as well as give a tour of our beautiful residential home on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells.
- There’s a spring in our step at Birchwood HouseThere’s a spring in our step! The flowers are blooming, and the skies are turning blue. Spring is onContinue reading “There’s a spring in our step at Birchwood House”
- Win a Mother’s Day afternoon tea
- How arts and crafts hugely benefit the elderlyIt’s been a fantastic month here at Birchwood House. We’ve recently celebrated Valentine’s Day and have enjoyed smiles all around.
- The difference between care homes and retirement villagesAs many adults enter the later stages of their life, they often need either extra care, help and support and want to be around those in a similar situation or position to them from an age and health perspective.