Families encouraged to arrange Power of Attonrney
Published: Thursday, 21 November 2019
Families across Lanarkshire are being encouraged to arrange Power of Attorney (PoA) on behalf of their loved ones.
North and South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) are making the appeal ahead of national PoA day on November 20th.
In the event of an illness or accident, PoA is a legal document allowing a nominated person to act or make decisions on a family member's behalf.
Information, signposting people to the national PoA website (https://mypowerofattorney.org.uk/), and a series of pop up events throughout Lanarkshire are set to mark the awareness day.
Val de Souza, Chief Officer for South Lanarkshire HSCP, has voiced her support of the nationwide campaign – and urged people to think ahead.
“Nobody wants to consider a situation where they cannot make decisions for themselves, and we all hope that the time will never come.
“For most people this is true. However, for many, a life-changing event can occur. It could be an accident, a head injury, a stroke or an ongoing progressive illness, which causes them to lose capacity to look after their own affairs.
“National Power of Attorney day is bringing this issue into sharp focus. This campaign is about giving people the power to make decisions that will protect them, their family and those they care about should they ever lose capacity to make decisions for themselves.”
The national campaign, which has included a range of television adverts, also tackles myths, including the misconception that if a person loses capacity they can rely on members of their family act on their behalf. Unfortunately, unless an individual PoA has been arranged, this is not the case.
If a person has not granted powers in advance, and the person loses the capacity to make their own decisions, then the courts have to appoint someone to be their Guardian. There are mechanisms by which family members can apply to be granted these powers after someone has lost capacity, but can be a long and expensive process and requires a court hearing.
Ross McGuffie, Chief Officer of North Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership added: “Every year thousands of people across Scotland lose capacity.
“The only way you can plan for your future is to appoint someone with Power of Attorney. If you are in hospital or a care environment or even your own home, no one can act for you – pay bills, manage your welfare or make key decisions unless you have made your plan.
“Think and act now: If ill health or an accident means you can’t make decisions for yourself, who do you want to make them for you?”
Anyone interested in finding out more about Power of Attorney should consult their lawyer or visit https://mypowerofattorney.org.uk/ Some people may be eligible for a free service.
Local information on PoA day:
The Office of The Public Guardian (Scotland) are supporting pop up events on National Power of Attorney Day, November 20th, where people can find out more
North Lanarkshire, The Buchanan Centre, Coatbridge, ML5 3BJ, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Motherwell Library, Motherwell, ML1 3DD 1.30pm - 4.30pm
The Town House, 102 Cadzow St, Hamilton, ML3 6HH 9.30am – 2.00pm
Further information will also be available at:
Future of Care in South Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire HSCP public events:
Monday 25 November, 5pm until 7pm at St Machan's Parish Church Larkhall, ML9 1EZ
Tuesday 26 November 10am until 12pm, Raploch Bowling Club, Larkhall, ML9 1AJ