This weeks guest post come from Jill Carson, Head of Older Peoples Services, Great Glasgow and Clyde CHP speaking about the Power of Attorney (POA) campaign. You can follow POA on Twitter at @
“Here at mypowerofattorney.org.uk we are working hard to raise awareness about the importance of putting your Power of Attorney in place. These days, it’s something we tell people about as soon as they get a diagnosis of dementia. But it’s also something we should all do, as it means that in the future, if you become unwell or have an accident and are unable to make decisions for yourself, there is someone you trust who can do that for you. Many people think that their next of kin can do this – but that is not the case: no-one has the right to make decisions for you unless you have appointed them officially.
If you don’t put a Power of Attorney in place, a court of law is required to appoint someone – and it’s very stressful for anyone to have to go through legal processes, which is what your relatives will have to do if you haven’t already registered an Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland).
Appointing an Attorney is especially important if you have to go into hospital or have healthcare needs as a consequence of illness or disease (such as dementia) and become unable to make your own decisions about your treatment. Your Attorney can make sure that your wishes are carried out regarding your treatment, and if necessary can make crucial decisions such as where you should live when you are well enough to leave hospital.
Every day in our hospitals there are people who are medically fit and no longer require hospital care, but who are unable to be discharged because they cannot make decisions for themselves and did not appoint an Attorney. It usually takes months for the legal processes required to appoint someone – that’s months that someone has to live in a hospital without needing medical treatment. Our NHS and social care services are committed to supporting people to live well in their own homes or in a homely setting as close to home as possible, and that’s what people want too. Putting a Power of Attorney in place is a crucial step to facilitate this.”
Dementia Carer Voices, Tommy Whitelaw in an honest and frank interview with Power of Attorney. Tommy gives an insight to the importance of planning and the heartache it caused him and his mum. They were too late for Power of Attorney and this made things much worse in their lives. You can view the film from that interview here
Thank you Team Dementia Carer Voices