When do the family’s wishes get taken into account?

Yep, me again, I’ve started a separate thread for this as although it’s linked, it could well be an entirely different subject.

So… when Dad went into the nursing home he was totally lucid and had just had a brain scan that showed no change. With everything else that was going on the power of attorney was the last thing on my mind, especially as I have general power of attorney. We’ve been trying for a couple of months now to get the full POAs signed but of course he hasn’t been well & at times has been very confused indeed. Now it looks like he’s losing capacity, and fast, & we’ve possibly missed the opportunity. My first question is - I’ve heard about people going to solicitors to do the POA as they can judge the situation and still potentially put it through if they understand enough. Is this true?

I pay Dad’s fees from his own bank account as he’s been physically incapable of any admin since he went blind, He was able to state that he wished to go in a care home and he chose the one he went in. Can I remove him from the care home without a Health & Welfare POA if he loses capacity? If the hospital discharge him and nursing home won’t take him back because of his extensive needs, do I get any say in where he goes as he can’t make that decision himself anymore? How much say do we have as a family about his care when there is no POA in place?


I honestly don’t know.
I hope it is just infections/whatever and your father regains his capacity so you can get POAs done.
If there aren’t any answers forthcoming here, you will need legal advice.
Have you looked at the Gvt website for POA?
It seems to me that the answer would be no and you need to jump through lots of hoops and pay a lot more money for another option which I can’t recall it’s name.
I don’t know with regards to your general power of attorney as to what that is and how much decision making you would have.

Good luck

Hi Henry’s Cat. I missed your post earlier, so I’m a bit late replying.

Without a POA or Deputyship in place, you may be consulted, but ultimately a “Multidisciplinary Team” will make the decisions as “Best Interests” decisions.

Power of Attorney can only be granted if the individual has capacity at the time of application. If it’s gone beyond that stage, POA will not be granted. The waiting time has reduced from 8 months, but it’s still around 4 months now.

Deputyship grants you similar powers but with supervision from the Court of Protection. It can only be granted if the individual concerned has already lost capacity. There is always a longer wait for this to take effect as there are more checks involved to ensure that Deputyship is appropriate and going to the right person. It also costs more, although this is recoverable if the person concerned (your Dad in this case) has a low or no income.

My understanding is that if social care services and others involved in your father’s care are of the opinion that he is in an appropriate placement and you do not have the relevant POA/Deputyship, they will treat it as a safeguarding issue and the police will be involved. The possibilities after that point are generally pretty bad, with the least horrible being given a restraining order preventing lone visiting. It can get a lot worse.

Unfortunately family’s wishes, next of kin etc count for nothing at such times.

It is very bleak outlook Henryscat, I know someone who was in a scenario with a parent who lost capacity they didn’t have POA for welfare and had no say at all. It is a misnomer that being next of kin or spouse gives control and decision making, it doesn’t, you get informed or told, rarely consulted and hardly ever asked. To put it bluntly, their concern is the patients welfare and family are mere bystanders.

I wish there was better news for you.
I hope your father does regain capacity and you can get POA
Don’t be hard on yourself, you were busy dealing with the here and now, nobody can predict how things will be, there is no crystal ball and unfortunately some people can have a rapid decline.
Be kind to yourself, it is an awful situation, terrible bad luck regarding POA and capacity decline, it is not your fault and you are doing all you can, merit yourself with that.

It’s true that mental capacity can vary - it might be there in some contexts but not in others, before it completely goes. And I think a solicitor with experience of POAs could give an opinion that would count. I suppose this would involve paying a solicitor to do the whole thing without in advance knowing what your changes are. Do organizations like Age UK advise or recommend a solicitor in this situation? The fact that your father presumably agreed to a general power of attorney in the past might help. Good luck with it.

I have just seen something in another post by @bowlingbun
Have a look:-

Thanks everyone. I’ve been in touch with an Admiral Nurse (not sure if anyone has heard of them - like Macmillan Nurses but for Dementia) and they put me on to Pathways Through Dementia and to a group of solicitors that deal with POA and Guardianship etc in these sorts of circumstances. I’m gradually reconciling myself to just having to take the nursing fees on the chin but I do wonder how many homes delay allowing residents back for less than altruistic reasons. I did also speak to a legal person a while back about fighting for CHC funding and today Beacon have come back to me to say (I think) that there is a possibility that we can backdate the claim if we can show that he was in fact stable in those needs before the assessment was able to take place.

The General POA can only remain in place until he doesn’t have capacity but I don’t understand who or what triggers this because it appears to be dependent on specific decisions, i.e. he might be able to choose to stay in the care home but not be able to choose to sell the house. The property is now on the market and the other trustees (vultures) are very keen to sell in case Dad dies and holds everything up. The market is good at the moment so we’re all keen to sell asap and Dad always asks how it’s going unless he’s almost unconscious so I don’t know who might suddenly say there’s a problem.

I have no idea what people do in a situation where they don’t even have GPA and they can’t get LPA now because it’s gone too far. How on earth do you suddenly start paying someone’s bills etc with no legal powers? We had to use our own money to start with but many people don’t have that option.

Henry’s Cat
You are going through an awful time. Sad to read your posts.
When hubby was diagnosed I was put in touch with admiral nurses. Very helpful.
Had to go down the court of protection route too. It is intrusive but if it does happen you do get used to it. You don’t have to pay nursing fees, they come out of your dad’s estate. With all of the issues he has CHC should really be considered again! Very difficult I know.

What a nightmare situation for you.
Glad you are getting relevant help and information.

Ask the solicitor about the situation of bill paying and recompense from the equity when the house is sold.
Also the revenue from the house sale will be wanted by the authorities to pay for his residential care, if the revenue goes to others, the authorities i.e the Gvt can at any point demand the money back to pay towards his care and if that money runs out they can be looking towards next of kin to pay for it.

This is my understanding from our solicitor recently, my mother wanted to sign the house to me and we were told that the authorities would see this as defrauding herself from money for her care and demand it sold to pay for it or if I sold it they’d demand the money from me. Mother just didn’t want the responsibility of the house anymore and said it would be going to me anyway! Thing is I don’t want her to do that anyway, it is her house, and, if residential care is needed, it’s her care funds for it.

If you are an only child, long before a parent needs care get them to give you a share of the house to avoid these issues later.

Absolutely. If done far enough in advance it can’t be counted as a deprivation of assets. I think this is a very vague situation ‘knowing that you will need care’ because unless you know you are going to die suddenly while you are still able to care for yourself absolutely, then surely most people will need care at some point?! Even if your family want to do it, there could well still be costs involved & there’s still no guarantees that they’ll manage it for as long as they’d like.

Dad’s house belongs half to him and half to a trust for his decreased partner. The proceeds will go into his bank account to pay for his care. I only manage the accounts, I don’t pay out of my money (well only temporarily) so if the money runs out before the house sale goes through they’ll have to hold it on account, I just hope they don’t charge crazy interest.