Elizabeth’s parents did not want to set up a Power of Attorney, but when Vascular Dementia hindered their ability to make decisions for themselves, Elizabeth found herself limited in what she could do without Power of Attorney set up. She shares her story with us.
I would always advocate that Power of Attorney is organised sooner rather than later. Both my parents have vascular dementia and when the subject was broached in the early stages they resisted strongly. As a result I have had to apply for Guardianship through the legal system. The process took around 9-10 months (with many professionals having to visit my parents to compile reports) culminating in an appearance at the Sheriff Court. Fortunately, guardianship was granted without ‘Caution’. During this I also had to apply for legal aid. Even with the legal aid there were still a number of costs to be met (around £600).
Since being granted welfare and financial guardianship I have spent time completing audit and management data for the Office of the Public Guardian; visited my parents’ bank to give them copies of the guardianship and sorting out direct debits; letting their solicitor know about the change in circumstances; and letting the GP surgery know. At times this felt like having a second full time job.
I am happier with these powers as I now feel I can make decisions to ensure they remain in their own home as long as possible and that they enjoy the same quality of life. When unscrupulous companies telephone my parents now to arrange insurance for their Television box, my father can no longer complete the transaction, as I have been able to arrange for him to have an ATM card without the security number on the reverse. At one point, my parents had six sets of insurance for their Television box and were also paying an extortionate amount for their gas servicing.
It is easy to have 20/20 hindsight, but this is why I would always advise others to sort out Power of Attorney at the earliest opportunity.
For more information on Power of Attorney visit the Age Scotland website, or download our Information Pack. You can also speak to someone about your individual situation by calling Silver Line Scotland on 0800 4 70 80 90.