Why are Lasting Powers of Attorney important for Carers?
18 May 2020 by Jane Golding
According to new Government data, there are now 13.9 million disabled people in the UK. That means disabled people now make up 22% of the UK population – more than one in five. The topmost common conditions that are considered disabilities are:
- Arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems
- Heart Disease
- Lung or Respiratory problems
- Mental Illness, including Depression
- Nervous System Disorders
- Injuries sustained by accidents
There are almost seven million carers in the UK, that is one in ten people and this is rising. Out of the UK carers, 42% of carers are men and 58% are women.
What are the responsibilities of a carer?
- Practical tasks such as, tidying the house, doing washing, ironing, paying the bills, cooking meals, shopping.
- Personal care including, dressing, washing, lifting, giving medication, or collecting prescriptions, attending doctors’ appointments.
In previous surveys when Carers are asked what they worry about the most, they often reply “what will happen in the future?” Despite this, not enough carers and those they care for take the relatively simple step of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA can be vital as it gives the carer the capacity to act in the best interests of the person they care for if they lose capacity to make decisions for themselves. Of those who had made provisions, few realised the importance of having both a Property & Financial Affairs LPA, which gives someone the power to act on your behalf to make decisions about your property and financial affairs; and a Health & Welfare LPA, which means that someone else has the power to make decisions about your personal welfare and healthcare when you are unable to do so.
Having an LPA in place to appoint a carer as an attorney for the person they care for has vital and practical as well as emotional implications. It allows the carer to carry out the wishes of the person they care for when it comes to treatment and care, gives access to the person’s finances to pay for equipment, adaptations and formal support, as well as helping to safeguard against fraud.
Having an LPA helps to include the carer and enables them to feel more confident in what may at first feel like an overwhelming situation, such as making decisions about residential care and end of life care. A Health & Welfare LPA cannot be used until it is proven that the person has lost mental capacity. A Property & Financial LPA can either be used when a person has lost mental capacity or while a person still has capacity, with their permission.
If I or a colleague can assist you or your carer in making an Application for Lasting Powers of Attorney, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01206 700113 or email [email protected] to arrange an appointment.