COVID19 and the importance of a Health and Welfare LPA
The COVID19 pandemic has brought home to many the importance of having a Health and Welfare LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) for our loved ones.
With Covid19 and the resulting lockdowns, comes the realisation of a stressful new set of difficulties. An example of these was shown recently by a highly publicised incident involving former Coronation Street actress, Leandra Ashton. Ms Ashton’s mother, retired nurse Ylenia Angeli (73), was arrested and restrained by police when she tried to remove her 97 year old mother from her care home.
Ms Angeli felt that her mother, who sadly suffers from dementia, would be better cared for at home, as she was “deteriorating” having not seen her family for nine months as a result of the restrictions on visiting care homes.
Sadly Ms Ashton explained that she and her mother “only have a Power of Attorney for my Nan’s finances. Not her wellbeing”.
Ms Angeli said that “emotions were so high” at the time and Ms Ashton confirmed that “The police were as good as they possibly could be. It was a difficult situation for them to be in.”
The unique circumstances we find ourselves in have created additional challenges across the board. Care homes have the difficult job of balancing not only the needs, wishes and wellbeing of individual residents, but also the risk to and health of other residents as a collective.
The importance of Health and Welfare LPAs, previously felt by many to be “less important” has never been so evident. These documents allow the people appointed by them to make even day-to-day decisions such as where a person lives.
Rebecca Dixon is a solicitor in the private client department at Barker Gotelee, Suffolk solicitors.