Don’t try to break granny out of her Care Home
Warning to families desperate to see elderly relatives
One of the toughest aspects of the pandemic has been restrictions on loved ones being able to see elderly relatives in care homes. Some families have become so frustrated with the ban on visits that they have taken matters into their own hands.
There have been several media stories about elderly people being ‘sprung’ from care homes by their families. The most high profile of these was shared by actor Leandra Ashton and resulted in the brief arrest of her mother for removing her grandmother from a care home.
The 97-year-old lady, who suffers from dementia, was returned to the care home and her daughter ‘de-arrested’. The case garnered attention from around the world and there were suggestions that the family should have had a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney (POA) in Place which could have allowed them to remove her legally.
Lisa Lodge, director and senior private client solicitor at Vincents Solicitors, said:
“While we don’t know the full circumstances of this case, if the family had a Health and Welfare POA in place they would have been consulted on the care of their elderly relative.
“Indeed it is likely that a family would be consulted even without a health and welfare POA, and the POA would not permit families to make spur of the moment decisions which are in breach of the care plan, particularly where social services are involved.
“A care home’s duty, following the decision of social services to place a person in that facility, is the protection of the individual. In order to remove a relative, the family must demonstrate to social services that they are able to provide the right standard of care themselves, and this is not an overnight process.
“If there are concerns about a care home they should be raised with social services, the care quality commission or taken to the Court of Protection.
“It could be argued that the procedures now in place (admittedly not in the early days) make the home the safest place for that person to be. And, with care home residents among the first to be offered the new Covid vaccine, it is hoped visiting restrictions will be able to be eased early in the new year.
“Health and Welfare LPAs are an important tool for people to have in place if they want a trusted person advocating on their behalf should they lose capacity. It’s usually a last resort for people with no immediate family, or who are estranged, who need to appoint a more distant relative or a friend to that position.
“Financial and business Lasting Power of Attorneys are also very useful for family members to take on the financial affairs and management of a loved one’s estate or business interests, and every family should ensure they have one in place, particularly at the current time where there are so many unknowns in the midst of this global health crisis.”
For more information about how an LPA can help to protect your family contact Lisa Lodge on 01772 348 909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Lisa Lodge, director and senior private client solicitor at Vincents Solicitors