A very common belief is that our next of kin can make decisions for us if we are unable to make them for ourselves. However, such decisions cannot be made by our friends or family because this has no legal standing, unless we have put the appropriate legal arrangements in place.
“It is important to plan ahead and set up a Lasting Power of Attorney now to enable a person of your choosing to make health and welfare decisions on your behalf should you lose mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself.”
Raising Awareness of Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare
The Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board has announced the launch of the Let’s Plan Ahead (LPA) Campaign, a multi-agency initiative which aims to raise awareness and drive the uptake of Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.
The HSAB website is hosting the campaign on new, dedicated webpages found here: https://www.hampshiresab.org.uk/lasting-power-of-attorney/
These pages are intended to provide a range of resources to support both the public and professionals. This is to enable you to better understand the legal arrangements around making a Lasting Power of Attorney, and to share this information with family members, within staff teams and within the wider community.
There are specific resources related to making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare. The uptake of these is low nationally, and every adult should consider having this in place regardless of their age. The resources include short films and information documents which can be downloaded and printed.
We encourage all residents of Hampshire to visit the site and consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare. Once you have these arrangements in place you can rest assured that somebody you know and trust, who knows your wishes, will be able to make decisions in your best interests.
A Summary of Important things to note
It is a good idea to set up a lasting power of attorney for anyone over the age of 18 so that if you lose your cognitive ability, someone you trust can help you to make decisions regarding your health and welfare.
If you have previously set up power of attorney, ensure that it is up to date so that it is still legally binding when you need it!
If you don’t have it set up, a medical professional will help to make these decisions who you may not know.
You will not lose control; an LPA only becomes effective if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.
It is easy to do online, and there is guidance to help.