How To Choose A Personal Care Power Of Attorney

how to choose personal care power of attorney

A power of attorney for personal care is a document giving someone the ability to make decisions for you if you become unable to make those decisions for yourself. 

Personal care can include everything from health care, medical treatment, diet, housing, clothing, hygiene, and safety. In most cases, your attorney is your spouse, a relative or a close friend. 

Who Can Make One? 

You can make a power of attorney for personal care if you're 16 years old and mentally capable of doing so. Mentally capable means understanding whether the person you name is genuinely concerned about how you live and are taken care of and that you may need this person to make decisions for you. 

You must also be making a power of attorney without anyone pressuring or forcing you to. 

Why Do You Need One? 

A power of attorney is a vitally important document. It ensures your directives for your health care are followed and that decisions in your best interest are made. 

If you don't have a power of attorney and are incapacitated, your family could have a challenging time making medical decisions for you. They will likely need to seek legal advice, adding extra complications and costs when they are concerned about your health and wellbeing. 

Creating a power of attorney is an easy way to start planning for those difficult situations and will give you peace of mind knowing that someone you trust will be able to look after you and your care when you are unable to. 

What Do They Do? 

A personal care power of attorney gives the person you choose the ability to make decisions about your health care, housing, nutrition, and more if you're not mentally capable of making decisions for yourself. 

This person makes decisions about your health care related to medical treatments, moving into a long- term care home, and personal assistance services in long-term care homes, such as bathing and help with meals. 

Choosing Your Attorney 

When picking your attorney, you should choose someone who genuinely cares about you and has your best interests at heart. It's also essential to speak with the person to ensure they're willing to take the responsibility and know your wishes. 

You can also outline your wishes in your power of attorney, sometimes referred to as an advance care plan. It can include things like talking to family members before making certain decisions, staying in your home for as long as possible, and whether or not to let doctors use life support. 

People usually appoint a family member or close friend to be their attorney. You can also appoint more than one person to be your attorney. 

It's usually best to appoint someone who lives nearby as they need to respond quickly to urgent matters, monitor how you're doing, and ensure your needs are met. 

Making these plans and communicating them with your chosen power of attorney is the best way to ensure your wishes are respected if you are unable to communicate them yourself.

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