Power of Attorney - What Power do I have?

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by MidSib, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. MidSib

    MidSib New member

    Nov 4, 2019
    My elder brother has been diagnosed with vascular dementia and has appointed me, his sister, as POA. He is elderly, still lucid and living alone in a two bedroom bungalow with one daily carer coming in for half an hour, and does not live near to me. He will not sanction any repairs to his property, not wanting any upheaval or cost, but his central heating is beyond repair and although he manages with a gas fire which heats water also, I am worried about the oncoming winter. Can I override his wishes and get the heating replaced? Should I do this? He would be angry but it is for his welfare for which I am now responsible.
  2. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    There are two types of LPA. Finance, and health/welfare. I believe for H/W, you cannot use it until the person has been diagnosed as no longer having the capacity to make their own decisions. But if you have finance LPA, unless restrictions have been placed on it you should be able to use his funds.

    As attorney you have to 'act in his best interests' and you may well think that new heating would be in his best interests. But if it is going to cause him significant distress, it may not be. It's a fairly major job and will cause disruption, mess and noise, and will involve 'strangers' being in the house. My mother didn't have central heating in her flat, she used a variety of electric heaters plus a gas fire, and that seemed to work fine. So regardless of whether your POA allows you to do it, you also need to think whether it's the best option. Difficult one.
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello @MidSib you are welcome here and I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

    If you have time tobtake a good look around the site you may find, as I did, that it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there



    You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out/ explaining useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc.

    Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.

    If you would like to talk your specific issue through with the experts on the helpline the details are

    National Dementia Helpline
    0300 222 11 22
    Our helpline advisers are here for you.
    Helpline opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
    Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm
  4. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    You don't say which POA you have and how they are registered - can they be used immediately or not? They recommend the former as if you are suddenly incapacitated the latter isn't much good. Having heating replaced does sound like a lot of upheaval and it already cold so this requires a careful balance. If he was to go into a home for a 'holiday' and the heating worked on return, I can see that may work but having heating engineers in and out while they are there would be very disruptive. You are required to act in their best interest but also to help them remain independent which once they lose capacity is very hard. I find myself thinking "what would dad do?" When actually I know my dad would have made a silly decision, like represent himself in court with an emotional argument, so I have to think: what is in dad's best interest?

    Central heating is of course modern so it may be that electric blankets and things like those Dyson heat fans can be used safely and effectively but it all depends on careful consideration and balance of your situation. To be honest in your position I'd try this first but if they don't use the extra heating equipment and it's still cold in the house I'd then move on to getting it replaced but also seek to have a 'holiday' around it. I say this so as not to sit on the fence but I understand the dilemma.
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    I’ve found those oil filled radiators are not to expensive to buy or run and putting one in the bedroom and one in the kitchen would make a big difference over winter. Bathroom would be cold though!
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I was thinking of electric oil filled radiators too Bunpoots, that is what my mother had. They are really effective and pretty safe.

    If you do decide on central heating, bear in mind it will be totally novel to your brother and he may view the boiler/controls with suspicion. People with dementia often don't like the power lights on these appliances, and switch them off at the wall. My mother was forever switching off her water heater and then ringing me saying it wasn't working, and wanting the engineer called. So if you do install a new system, make sure anything 'turn-off-able' is concealed in a cupboard and not available to be switched off.
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    The straightforward answer is this: it all depends on what you mean by lucid.

    If he still has mental capacity, you cannot override his wishes. Yes, a financial LPA can be used straightaway, but ONLY if the donor agrees.

    If he no longer has mental capacity, then you can but should tread carefully so as not to antagonise him so find a way to install any kind of heating while he is out and make sure it's one that is simple enough for him to use.
  8. MidSib

    MidSib New member

    Nov 4, 2019
    Thank you for so many replies and I take the advice given. I have both POAs, financial and welfare but so far, just keep an eye on his bank balance with his agreement. His carer is very caring and I will liaise with her often now. He finds it increasingly hard to operate any controls, including computer food orders and TV channels etc and cannot use many of the devices he installed previously, not being able to follow through a train of thought, so I was glad to be reminded by members how he might view new heating controls to operate. At present he converses normally but repetitively. So I think the oil filled radiators would be a good solution and a simple one for him to manage easily. I also think I can persuade him to have these. I am so sad to see my brainy and normally rather superior brother become humble. Vascular sufferers know what is happening to them and are aware of changes. My heart goes out to all. Many thanks again.
  9. charlie10

    charlie10 Registered User

    Dec 20, 2018
    Hi MidSib for a moment I thought we must be related, with my FiL in common! He also lives alone, with one care visit a day, won't allow any repairs to his house (which are fairly desperate) and has no working c/h. Although my husband and his brother have LPA they are unable to implement it as he still has capacity and has not been diagnosed with dementia. He likes the room he lives in (now downstairs) to be stiflingly hot.....he has so far burned out 4 fan heaters, as he runs them 24/7. We are currently considering options that may be acceptable to him, and have come up with oil filled heaters to give a background heat, and perhaps some sort of fan heater that can blow hot air on him so that he can feel it. We also thought of a thick but light throw as he sits in his recliner all day.....wondered about an electric throw but decided it would be a safety problem with trailing leads.

    I do sympathise....when they refuse to allow an obvious solution the carers are left to try to work their way around to an acceptable solution so I wish you lots of luck and hope that you can keep him warm for the winter

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