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For those applying for Lasting Power of Attorney: beware - Carers UK Forum

For those applying for Lasting Power of Attorney: beware

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
I’m hoping that I minimized the barb in my tone here, but I was amazed at what happened to me today. The Care Manager of the team looking after my mam - questioned the validity of the LPA I have for my mam’s Health and Welfare when I produced it. He was questioning whether my mam was fully aware of the gravity/authority of the document she had signed. This is strange to me – since the document does not become active until my mam is deemed incapacitated in her ability to make sound decisions. And since they are giving her a full bill of health in that department; handing back full financial control from the DWP to her - for example; they should not be concerned about the LPA.

The procedure for the LPA was followed; I printed the documentation explaining it and gave it to mum to read; I even printed out the more extensive guide from Age UK entitled - “Arranging for someone to make decisions on your behalf”; the significance should have been clear to mum. She was a University graduate and a Cum Laude after all; she can read information very well. So when I got the Certificate Provider and the Secondary Attorney to visit our home, we all sat at the coffee table and judge that my mam was fully aware of what she was signing; we all signed in turn.

The Care Manager – questions this process however – since my mam now denies having been informed fully of the weight of the document she was given to sign. This is after 6 months from the time of her signing. Seven to six months before her signing, the symptoms of her current deterioration began showing. A friend of mine asked whether I have an LPA in place – in case it is Dementia she is developing. So I looked into it, with my mam fully in the know. I don’t like doing things that affect her – without her knowing; it’s a kinda child-mum thing that I feel I owe her an explanation for anything I do that’s serious. So she signed the document, it got validated two months later by the Office of the Public Guardian. It all looked legit to me.

But you see – the Care Manager is from a school of ethics (IMO) that places more weight on the person’s current opinions, feelings or current wishes – over what they have previously decided or agreed on. I do agree that a person should not be tied to their previous expressed opinions – such as those they expressed when they were teenagers Vs to how they now feel as adults. Similarly, a person should be able to change their Last Will and Testament – if they so wish. However, when it comes to Mental Health – LPAs effectively restrict the person’s choices and tie them to their previously expressed will; it holds them to their word. That’s essentially what a legal document does; record what people have agreed to and compel them to stick to what they say.

The LPA becomes a “guardian” by law; and that Law is not open to interpretation by those who are not party to the initial signing of the document. There is no opinion or feelings required in order for the LPA to be validated after the signing; it’s simply a matter of law.

IMO - the Care Manager – sees this as a potential problem – for his team’s caring assignment. In their ethical framework – the most current opinion or ideas of their patient is paramount. They must give priority to the feelings of the patient; any request they make is held sacrosanct. It really is a very attractive ethical framework to live and operate by; giving the patient all the support they want; acting on every desire they express (within safety limits of course) – is just oh so “caring” – you could stick a bushy tail on it and call it a bunny rabbit; it’s delightfully attractive and kinda cute. But the long-term interest for those caring for their mums and dads – are relegated to the side line and essentially ignored.

An example of this is very current: mum expressed the idea that I should leave the house – even though I’ve been her carer since 2006. She’s not happy with my level of stress which boils over to my being argumentative and angry. Immediately after being informed – I’m given two weeks to leave the house by the Care Manager. My mam’s wishes must be complied with, regardless of the cost to my own welfare and mental health. It’s as if – I’m just a non-person that can just be forced to vacate without thought for how I will do it; maximum care for mum, minimum thought for me – the son and carer.

This is a warning for those who believe the Law is above personal feelings. If you have an LPA in mind, and you proceed to give all those concerned in the medical circles a copy – be prepared to meet up with some resistance. They are so focused on “caring” for their patients – they will resist any rule that will hinder their ability to facilitate bringing about the patient’s wishes. It’s all about mum’s and dad’s feelings first; your feelings are irrelevant. The LPA allows you to have a large say in what happens to mum and dad – that may not be to their liking; so don’t expect those in charge to be happy with that document.
My mum had an LPA, although she didn't have dementia, but was housebound, it was easier for me to manage all her financial matters.
If your mum doesn't remember signing the form etc., then that just shows how important it was to get it signed when you did!
Really important when dealing with those who try to "exceed their authority"!
Thank you for that assurance. It's really torture - the way they are minimizing the change in my mum's behavior and instead focusing on the conversations they have with her. Her "craziness" is not found in her speech - it's in her actions. Her Schizophrenia all these years - never made her call a Lloyd's bank staff an expletive, to the point that the bank manager called our home and threatened to shut down her account. All the years she's had Schizophrenia she's not behaved like a child in the morning and then an ogre in the afternoon. These things are just new. That's why I wanted to have dementia to be considered. And much to my horror - getting a diagnoses of dementia is difficult since there are no test beyond memory "quizzes" that the NHS offers.

As I write this - she's gone without telling me. I may have to report her missing again to the police - who's logged several incidents about her already. Again - not normal behavior for my Schizophrenic mum.


Honey Badger wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:29 am
Care manager is over zealous.

For all their talk of ethics in regards to your mothers care, they know to even question the integrity of the power of attorney document and circumstances in which your mother signed it(status of capacity under MCA) is essentially levelling an accusation of acquisition via means of fraud and undue influence to those party to it which is both outrageous and slanderous.

They probably don't have the first clue about neither the explosive content of what they are suggesting nor the possible ramifications. Doesn't fill me with confidence for the level of responsibility they hold.
Thank you for the feedback. This is my main concern; they don't seem to know what they are doing. The Carer Manager is not of UK origin - and may not be fully aware of how the Law stands in the UK. With the rise of the need for LPAs - the Government has streamlined it via Web access. The Care Manager even insinuated that a Lawyer should have been included in the document. When I pointed out that I've done everything by the book - no lawyers needed - he seems to question the "ethics" of it still. He basically coached my mam using his own suspicions to plant seeds of doubts in my mam's mind; so she in her doubt accepted his idea that she was not fully informed when she signed. I mean - what does an old lady need to understand printouts from Age UK - a degree in Law?

In my near panic - I rang the Office of the Public Guardian; the girl assured me that the ball is in the Care Managers court. He has to prove that the signing event was done without her full knowledge. The Certificate provider is the one the Care Manager has to contact for any qualms. The Certificate provider use to work for Barclays - and handled deeds and wills in behalf of clients. If he is not a reliable witness - then who else could have been?
You have acted properly.

The care manager has not.

I think you should ring the Care Quality Commission today and ask for help. The manager has no right to turn you out of your home.
Could you get half an hours free advice from a solicitor. Something is dreadfully wrong here.
bowlingbun wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:05 am
You have acted properly.

The care manager has not.

I think you should ring the Care Quality Commission today and ask for help. The manager has no right to turn you out of your home.
I have a friend whose hubby is a Social Worker. I mentioned that in the conversation, when my mam asked for a Social Worker - the Care Manager persuaded her that they can all perform the duties of a Social Worker; they are all qualified to be such and hence no need for a Social Worker to be assigned. When my friend's hubby heard this - he was furious. If that is really the case - then his days are numbered. Wow - had I not been informed I would have believed all that was said.

The more you write, the more I am worried both for you and for your mum.
You really must ring the Care Quality Commission for advice today.

CQC have a principle thread running through their regulations, that of "transparency".
What is this manager wanting to hide? Why does he want you off the scene completely?
No one providing a service should try and separate relatives.
Especially so when you have been living with mum as her carer since 2006.

There is a legal term called "performance" which looks at what usually happened in the past or is happening now.
Mum has clearly been happy to have your care and love for a very long time indeed.
On your part that is giving up so much of your own life to help her.

Why does the manager want you entirely off the scene?!

As for thinking he's as good as a social worker, I bet he hasn't had their training or is registered on the HCPC website.

Keep in touch.