health-welfare-lasting-power-attorneyA Lasting Power of Attorney relating to Health and Care Decisions is a legal document that allows your attorney(s) to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf, only when you lack mental capacity to do so yourself. This can extend, if you wish, to authorising them to give or refuse consent to the continuation of life sustaining treatment (end of life decision- making). This element of the LPA will always be specifically discussed with you when you sign the form. It is important to consider these matters even though they are not easy things to think about.

An LPA is a very important document which allows you to plan in advance

• The decisions you want to be made on your behalf if/when you lose capacity to make them yourself

• The people you want to make these decisions

• How you want the people to make these decisions

A registered Health and Care Decisions LPA lets the people you choose make decisions about, for example:

• Giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions. These decisions can range from simple matters about everyday healthcare through to significant issues.

• You staying in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services

• You moving into residential housing and choosing the right care home for you

• Day-to-day issues like your diet, dress, or daily routine and deciding who may have contact with you

By choosing who you want to make decisions for you, having an LPA puts you in control of decisions eventually being made on your behalf. Once a Health and Care Decisions LPA has been registered, your attorneys can only make decisions for you when you lack mental capacity to make the decisions yourself.

You must think carefully about who you want to appoint to be your attorneys. If you are appointing more than one attorney you should be as sure as you can be that the attorneys will be able to get on with each other. You must be confident that they will act in your best interests at all times. You cannot guarantee that your attorneys will always agree but if you know that they are very likely to disagree it is not sensible to appoint them together.

If you have children living at opposite ends of the country and you need to go into a care home, will they disagree about where it should be? Do you have wishes or views about where it should be? Remember that you having a view and recording it will make it easier for your relatives to make decisions that would otherwise be very difficult.

We can also advise you about the benefits of making an ‘Advance Decision’ commonly referred to as a ‘Living Will’. Sometimes it is advisable to make a Living Will as well as a Health and Care Decisions LPA. We will discuss this with you.

We give expert advice about LPAs. The documents are usually prepared for a fixed fee. Please contact us to discuss making an LPA or to arrange an initial free consultation at our office.

‘Thank you for the efficient, sensitive and above all human way with which you have handled this matter’