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Why powers of attorney are essential for long-term care

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Powers of Attorney |

The decision to place an aging parent in a long-term care facility can make you feel guilty. It’s also filled with a mix of emotions, from concern for their well-being to worries about the financial and logistical burdens. In this emotionally charged time, it’s crucial to help ensure you have the legal authority to make important decisions on their behalf. 

In this case, powers of attorney can become an essential tool. While not mandatory for long-term care enrollment, having a POA in place offers significant benefits and peace of mind for both you and your parent.

Helping ensure their wishes are honored 

As parents age, their health and decision-making capacity may decline. A POA can allow them to designate someone they trust to make crucial choices about their care, living arrangements and financial matters. This empowers your parent to maintain control over their future and helps ensure their wishes are respected.

Streamlining decision-making 

Long-term care facilities often require a significant amount of paperwork and ongoing communication. A POA liberates your parent from being looped into every administrative detail. You, as the designated agent, can handle bill payments, manage their finances and communicate with facility staff regarding their care plan.

Bypass guardianship proceedings 

Suppose a POA isn’t established, and your parent becomes incapacitated. In that case, a court may need to appoint a guardian to make decisions on your parent’s behalf. This process can be lengthy, expensive and potentially contentious, especially if there are disagreements among family members. Thankfully, a POA bypasses this entirely.

Enrolling a parent in long-term care can be a difficult yet necessary step. A well-crafted power of attorney empowers your parent to plan for their future, reduces stress for you as a caregiver and helps ensure their wishes are respected. By taking this proactive step, you can navigate this transition with greater confidence and focus on providing the best possible care for your loved one.