Choice not Chance - the importance of Powers of Attorney

This week is the launch of Solicitors for the Elderly’s campaign “Choice Not Chance”, raising awareness of the important, but little used, Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney(LPAs) document.

LPAs are important legal documents where you write down your wishes for your end of life medical and care treatment. Don’t leave life-changing, highly personal end of life care decisions in the hands of strangers. (Click here for SFE information video)

Do your loved ones know how you would like to be cared for in later life? SFE’s latest campaign has revealed that 8 in 10 of us have not discussed our medical or care wishes for later life. Don’t leave them in the dark, start the conversation now. Every three minutes someone in the UK develops dementia, yet only 3% of people have a health and welfare lasting power of attorney (LPA) in place. LPAs ensure your later life medical and care decisions are put in place should you become incapacitated.

According to Solicitors for the Elderly:-

  • Over a third (36%) of people have not made any provisions for later life, including saving for retirement, putting into a pension, writing a will or creating an LPA
  • 97% of people are leaving health and welfare decisions to chance
  • 70% of those polled would like a family member to make medical and care decisions on their behalf, in the event of mental capacity – in reality this won’t happen without an LPA
  • 79% of people haven’t discussed their medical or care wishes with loved ones; of those, 27% haven’t even thought about their wishes
  • Over half (58%) of Brits incorrectly believe that the NHS organ donor register carries all the information needed to ensure organs are donated

  • Incapacity is on the rise – due to people living longer and the prevalence of conditions like dementia
  • We are a nation unprepared – too few of us have planned ahead to make sure our wishes are followed should we be unable to make our own decisions
  • Together these two factors are causing a looming ‘incapacity crisis’ in Britain Be prepared – don’t leave important personal and subjective decisions about your health, care in the hands of strangers.
  • The only way to avoid this is to think about what you’d want if you were to lose capacity, speak to loved ones about it, and get a Health & Welfare LPA in place
  • Chose an expert – to make sure your LPA is robust and covers all the things you need it to, seek expert advice

At Thomson Hayton Winkley our Solicitors have lots of years’ experience dealing with LPAs and can help talk things through with you.

Published 3 July 2018

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