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In an ideal world planning for elderly care would be a step by step process, but in circumstances where there is a crisis i.e. after a fall or hospital stay, care can become an immediate necessity with people forced into making a instant decision.

Mr. Meredith, a 93-year old living in Warwickshire had all the bases covered with his enduring power of attorney already on hand to deal with the financial element of his care, well before his impending fall. Had he not been so determined to stay in his own home and so organised, his home assessment would have deemed that care in a home was a necessity; and once placed, after a second unsuccessful assessment the likelihood of him going back home would have been vastly reduced.

Live-in nurse, Lorna Shaw employed by Consultus Care & Nursing Agency to nurse Mr. Meredith, agrees: “Once in a care home there is a second assessment to determine whether that person can return home. Where the elderly person is observed to be still in need of care, for example, if they have difficulties in day-to-day activities i.e. making a cup of tea for themselves – it is at that point where it becomes difficult to exit the system. This is why being prepared for all eventualities is a necessity. Being in his own home has meant that Mr. Meredith has retained his independence and is in control of his life – a major advantage to nursing in the family home, and one which I have not encountered in my 20 strong years of experience, working in care homes. In the latter, the patients’ lives are run by the staffing schedule and not the patients so by it’s nature it becomes a very clinical as opposed to a social role.”

Vanessa Jacka, Mr. Meredith’s Power of Attorney, comments on the need for forward planning and how this can ensure a secure future for the elderly: “The first hurdle when appointing an enduring power of attorney is choosing someone who is available to give the time required to take on this role – people lead busy lives these days and choosing the right family member can make all the difference.

“Your chosen power of attorney is responsible for securing the future of your financial assets and your personal welfare so this is a matter that needs to be tackled head on. We never know what is around the next corner so even starting to plan at 60 is not unrealistic. In fact, the main stumbling block to getting started is often convincing ourselves that it is indeed time to plan. While instructing solicitors might be a less long and drawn out process, the banks can take up to six months to allow clearance for your power of attorney to access to your account; and new government legislation is about to come into play, which may mean that the legal process takes even longer. ”


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