Members support promoting Power of Attorney

Members of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have agreed to support the role of Health and Social Care professionals in making people in the Highlands aware of the importance of making arrangements for Power of Attorney when they are still capable.

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 provides a legal framework for safeguarding the welfare and managing the finances of adults who lack capacity due to mental disorder or inability to communicate.

While having the capacity to do so, an adult may grant a Power of Attorney giving an Attorney powers over their property, finance or welfare or both. A Power of Attorney is a written document giving someone else authority to take actions or make decisions on the Adult’s behalf.

Chairman of the Councils ECAS Committee, Councillor Drew Millar said: “This is not just about safeguarding the interests of our older members of the community it’s about anyone over the age of 16 having a plan in place if they become ill or injured and are unable to look after themselves or make decisions for themselves. None of us can say what the future holds and it’s important that we all make decisions for our own future welfare while we can and encourage others to do so.”

Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson added: “Having a clearly defined legal plan of Power of Attorney can help Highland Council and NHS Highland provide health and social care assistance to those in need much quicker and without delay. If Power of Attorney has not been granted for someone who is not capable of making decisions, much-needed assistance for Adults with Incapacity can be held up. I would urge everyone, their families and friends to consider their own situations and look into setting up their own plans of Power of Attorney while they can.”

Further information on “Planning ahead while you have the capacity to do so” can be found on the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) website at: http://www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk/

8 Oct 2015
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