1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by missmouse, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. missmouse

    missmouse Registered User

    Jan 19, 2012
    51
    Kent
    Hello all. I have posted here in the past when I was looking after my mother who had Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia. Sadly, she died in June 2017.

    Since then I have been trying, more or less unsuccessfully, to get a meeting with the hospital to discuss the events leading up to my mother's death. Would you believe that I eventually received a letter in response to my many queries a couple of weeks ago. So I have a meeting booked next week, 524 days after my initial request.

    However, my mother died in hospital without me by her side which was distressing enough but then in the letter they sent me they also mention that an urgent decision had to be made regarding resuscitation and they decided she would not be resuscitated but would continue to be given intravenous fluids. Unfortunately no member of the family was present at the time and this discussion needed to take place as soon as possible.

    I was at the hospital for a lot of the time that day and no one contacted me about her condition. In fact I was unable to contact a doctor to speak to about her condition as there were none around.

    She appeared to be dying but no one mentioned that to me. So I was informed of her death the next morning when I was at home. Is the LPA not worth the money and the paper it is written on? Because I thought that the hospital were meant to involve me in my mother's worsening condition and her treatment (she did not have a DNR order). I thought the LPA is a legal document and they should have made an attempt to meet and discuss with me but obviously not. Have other people experienced this lack of interest with an LPA?
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,899
    Female
    South coast
    An LPA gives you the right to speak on another persons behalf as if it were that person speaking, but it does not give you the right to make the final decision.

    Just as there are times when a person may want some form of treatment, but the doctor says no, they are not prepared to do it, so the same thing can happen with a desire expressed by POA. Under certain circumstance the doctors can over ride an LPA. I am not saying that this is what happened in your case as I do not know the details, but I am explaining that having an LPA is no guarantee that your wishes will automatically be acted on.

    The doctors explained what was happening about my mum to me even though I did not hold H&W POA, but I could imagine that in times of crisis it would not have been practicable to do so and could easily be over looked. Im not condoning this - Im just saying that I could see how it could happen.
     
  3. missmouse

    missmouse Registered User

    Jan 19, 2012
    51
    Kent
    Thank you for replying. I understand all what you say but I was informed that LPA would mean that I would be involved in the treatment and care of my mother whereas I was disregarded. It is not the do not resuscitate problem in particular. It is although I was around at the hospital the day in question they couldn't be bothered to speak to me. As they had to "take action urgently" they obviously knew that my mother's health was failing but as they didn't bother to involve me in her care. I didn't know that she had got worse even though I was in contact with them a lot that day, so I wasn't with her when she died. In correspondence since when I say to them this they just apologise and are not interested. What I would like to know is if anyone else has been fobbed off and dismissed in the way I have been because I have an LPA? Not to do with resuscitation. I wonder if it is being overlooked in other experiences, if so it is a costly document to have when hospitals don't value it. However, I did find it extremely useful when dealing with Social Services.
     
  4. chickenlady

    chickenlady Registered User

    Feb 28, 2016
    94
    I would have expected the staff to have discussed care with you as the next of kin, with or without an LPA. Staff usually complete "This is me" paperwork on admission and would need a relative or friend to help, it seems that this was an opportunity lost. I'm not making excuses for them but I have worked in areas where staffing was so short that wards were staff by significant numbers of temporary staff who may not have prioritised talking to relatives amongst the long list of other things going on. What ever the explanation or excuse they can't make you feel better about not being there at the end so I suggest you decide what you'd like to et out of the meeting before you go. Do you want an apology, do you want an honest explanation, do you want to hear what they are going to do in order to make it better for other patients and their families. Write down what you want to achieve and start the meeting by reading it out, then at the end before you leave check your list again to see if they've answered your questions and addressed your concerns, tell them if they haven't. I hope you come away feeling better.
     
  5. missmouse

    missmouse Registered User

    Jan 19, 2012
    51
    Kent
    Dear ChickenLady

    You have given me such good advice. I can't thank you enough when I meet with the Trust on Friday I will put into practice your pointers, it is such valuable advice you have given me.
     

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