A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal healthcare and welfare.
These types of decisions can only be taken by somebody else when you lack the capacity to make them for yourself, for example, if you are unconscious or because of the onset of a condition such as Dementia.
The Attorney(s) you appoint to make the personal welfare decisions will only be able to use this power once the LPA has been registered and provided that you cannot make the required decision for yourself.
You can decide to give your Attorney the power to make decisions about any or all of your personal welfare matters, including healthcare matters. This could involve some significant decisions such as:
Giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions; or
Whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with help and support from Social Services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you.
If you want your Attorney(s) to have the power to make decisions about “life-sustaining treatment” you have to expressly give your chosen Attorney(s) the power.
You can also give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about day-to-day aspects of your personal welfare, such as your diet, your dress, or your daily routine. It is up to you which of these decisions you want to allow your Attorney(s) to make.
This type of LPA does not allow the person(s) you have chosen to make decisions about your property and affairs. If you would like someone to be able to make property and affairs decisions on your behalf you will need to make a Property and Affairs LPA .
Just like the LPA for Property and Affairs it is crucial that you create the document whilst you still have sufficient understanding. If you keep putting it off, or leave it too late, you may not be able to make an LPA, meaning your family have to instead make a Court of Protection Deputyship application which is a lot harder to do, and more onerous for the family member on an ongoing basis. We generally recommend all of our clients to consider an LPA as a precautionary step, even though none of us like to think that there may come a stage where we will need help with such issues.