Enduring Guardian & Power of Attorney for Elder Care
In addition to our in Home Elderly Care and Dementia Care services, we believe it is important to keep all Elders and their families up-to-date with the latest aged care options and Government changes.
Enduring Guardianship and Power of Attorney are two topics that need to be thoroughly understood.
One subject that is enshrouded in confusion is the importance of having Enduring Guardianship and Enduring Power of Attorney documents and understanding the differencebetween these two roles. If your wishes are to stay at home for life, with the best Elderly care and avoid going into a Nursing Home, you need to put your legal, financial and care systems in place to ensure these wishes are carried out.
Why do we say this?
In our 21 years of experience, we have seen it happen time and time again.
Wealthy clients who stated they wanted to stay at home but who hadn’t put the RIGHT systems in place, with strong ‘checks and balances’ to ensure their wishes would be honoured.
A stunning 70% of people don’t put these simple legal, financial and care plans in place and they subsequently leave themselves at the mercy of others when they are at their most vulnerable.
Did you know each of these roles has a distinct purpose?
Your Enduring Guardian makes care and accommodation decisions for you when you are unable to make those decisions yourself. They will follow your Advanced Care Plan wishes, a document in which you have stated what you want to happen. This person may be someone you trust – like a daughter, son or a close friend or relative.
When you are unable to voice your Elder care wishes due to severe illness or other conditions such as dementia, your Enduring Guardian is your substitute decision-maker who will take into account your previous personal views and lifestyle choices. It is essential to understand that the person you appoint as your Enduring Guardian will be the person who takes care of your health, medical, ongoing care and lifestyle wishes on your behalf.
Your Enduring Power of Attorney will have the legal authority to act on your behalf to manage your legal and financial affairs.
“An Enduring Guardian and Enduring Power of Attorney are different, yet complementary documents. They can be made separately or together, giving you the choice as to whom you want to have the authority to make decisions across all areas of your life, if you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
An Advance Care Plan and Advance Care Directive are other important ‘planning ahead’ documents that do not require a witness but give guidance to those around you when difficult health decisions need to be made.”
The following table highlights some of the differences between the two roles, which act as a basic guide when preparing an Advanced Care Plan for yourself or a Loved One:
Things to Consider
Power of Attorney
Enduring Power of Attorney
Can only be appointed by an Elder while they have capacity.
Manages finances and assets on behalf of an Elder, according to that Elder’s wishes e.g. paying bills.
Useful if an Elder is overseas or unwell and needs finances managed by another person.
Can be in effect whilst an Elder has capacity.
Is effective when an Elder loses capacity.
May decide where an Elder lives.
May decide what health care an Elder receives.
May decide, on behalf of an Elder, what other types of personal services are received.
Can consent to medical or dental treatment being carried out on an Elder.
*Note: other decisions can be made by Enduring Guardians however, they require a “special function” which must be clearly stated in the guardianship documentation. These special functions may include an “access function” which allows the Enduring Guardian to restrict specific persons, stated in the guardianship documentation from having access to the Elder. This is normally used when there is some discord in family or close relationships. However, without these special functions being specifically listed in the guardianship documentation, the Enduring Guardian does not have the right to restrict anyone from accessing the Elder.
Without these 3 systems, you could end-up in a Nursing Home, no matter how wealthy you are!
Families, Loved Ones and Enduring Guardians of Elders who want to stay in their own home for life (and who consider this a better alternative to a Nursing Home), choose Daughterly Care’s extensive range of in Home Care services. We specialise in Dementia Care, Palliative Care and End of Life Care and our most popular Live in Care service – because the Daughterly Care team works together with everyone concerned to take the worry out.
Our professional, trained Caregivers and Private Nurses balance the tailored, person-centred care of our Elderly clients with the care needs of the family, and Loved Ones.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of in Home Care for yourself or a Loved One, please contact us today on (02) 9970 7333.
Disclaimer: All care has been taken in the research and sharing of this information. The information table in this article is not intended to take the place of legal advice given by a qualified legal or medical practitioner. Due to unique personal circumstances of every person, it is important to carefully research all options and seek professional advice where deemed necessary. No responsibility is taken for any loss suffered as a result of the information given herein.