When does a health and welfare POA activate

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Isabella41, May 30, 2015.

  1. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    Northern Ireland
    I'm told its very difficult to actually get a health and welfare POA. My aunt has signed the papers and they have been sent off for registration. She's happy for me to have the financial poa straight away by its my understanding the health and welfare one won't activate until she is deemed to not have capacity. At present she still lives alone and keeps herself clean, tidy and fed. The house is spotless but then again I'd expect nothing less as she was always ocd about cleaning. Outside the house its a different story. The lady in the local bank tells me she's always in looking to get a new pin as she claims the card is faulty (that's why we were in there earlier). We were in Sainsburys after that and she couldn't remember the pin for the other card. She claimed she hasn't changed it in years yet it was a different pin she was entering in from when we were last out a few weeks ago. She has the pins written on a card in her bag and on the board in her kitchen. ",oh bu its ok ive diguised them". If you count writing PO instead of post office as a disguise then fair enough!!! I said this and commented the pin has been xxxx when she was last at my house " but I haven't been there in years was the reply". I said you were there at Easter. She changed the subject. She repeats the same stories over and over. She tells me she gives a 'friend' money for helping her but can't tell me what he does and won't be specific as to how much. She thinks the man next door can crawl into her house through a cupboard. I could go on but I'm sure you all get what I'm saying.
    What advice would you offer me as to what my next steps should be?
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    You are correct that the Heath and Welfare one won't come into force until she has lost capacity, but not that it's difficult to get. What is difficult to get, at least in England and Wales (I don't know about NI and it's different in Scotland) is a Health and Welfare Deputyship.
  3. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    Northern Ireland
    Jennifer, although I live in Northern Ireland the paperwork was drawn up in England as this is where my aunt lives at present. I guess I'm just wondering how bad do things have to get before I can get a professional to certify her as lacking capacity to make decisions regards her care etc..
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Theoretically (unless the LPA specifically requires it) you don't need a doctor to determine that the person has lost capacity, just that you (the attorney) reasonably believe that the donee lacks capacity.


    The MCA Code of Practice says the following

    Having told you all that, I'm not sure from what you have said that she has reached the situation where the H & W LPA should be registered, because much of what you describe is more properly covered by the Financial LPA. In fact, I'm not at all sure that you shouldn't at this point be looking to see how you can remove her cards and pins from her. Have you considered the chip and signature option?
  5. carol4444

    carol4444 Registered User

    Feb 5, 2014
    If it's any help, I activated the finance LPA at the initial stage of applying for it so it was all done and dusted. I didn't need to use it for a while but just added help as and when needed. Mum seemed to have good months when she could manage so I just kept a watchful eye and stepped in as and when. I never did apply for the health/welfare side of the situation as I assumed that the medical staff would always act in mum's best interest - now I'm wondering if this was wise??? Any thoughts would be helpful.
  6. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    Northern Ireland
    The solicitor is sending the POAs off to be registered straight away. My aunt was so flustered yesterday that I didn't want to confuse her further with the chip and signature option. I do intend to ask the bank (Santander) if they offer this option. My aunt is a very strong willed and determined woman like my mum so I'm afraid if I stepped in and took the cards off her she'd remove me as POA and say she'll do it all herself once more. For anyone who remembers my ramblings from a few years years ago when mum was proving very difficult to manage you will see this is not a family who takes advice easily.

    At this stage I don't think I'd have a leg to stand on if I tried to force her into moving closer to me.

    Amazingly she is still driving. She insists on picking me up at the station. My heart is in my mouth each time. She drives more or less in the middle of the road and swears at anyone beeps at her as she thinks its their issue. She got done the other week for driving in a bus lane but again insists she had a valid right to be there. She told me that someone accused her recently of hitting them but she told them to get lost. How can I stop her driving before she kills or badly injures herself or an innocent third party.
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    To be honest, while its good to have the health POA, not every professional asks to see it so I wouldn't wait for it to be registered as that can take months. Start what you need to do now, if someone gets awkward you can always say the POA is signed and you're just waiting for it to be registered.

    As for the driving, you have to report her to the DVLA. They can make her sit a driving test but if you think she should not be driving before they get into gear with this you have to be cunning. Hide her keys. Disable the car somehow.
  8. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    Northern Ireland
    Beate. I am in the unfortunate position that if I were to simply hide the keys or tamper with the car her so called friends would simply help her order a new key. She has AA home start so again they'd just come out and fix it causing auntie to be even more paranoid about who tampered with it in a he first place.
    Will the DVLA tell her that someone reported her driving and that someone was me? She would go nuts if she found out I'd done that.
  9. balloo

    balloo Registered User

    Sep 21, 2013
    not sure why people think its hard to get POA for welfare we used a solicitor for both cst £1500 but had no problems it was the first thing we did when MIL came to stay as he house had to be sold and she could not of delt with that .We got health POA at the same time took 8 weeks from seeing a solicitor very simple
    and have used it to speak to Dr on our own about her et.
  10. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    #10 Saffie, May 30, 2015
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
    It's not hard to obtainLPA for Health and Welfare. As Jennifer has already said, it is Deputyship for Health and Welfare which is harder to obtain.
    The court usually likes to decide H&W matters as they occur because it is the Court who holds the Attourneyship whilst the Deputy, well, deputises for the court.
    Sometimes people confuse the two, that is all.
  11. Lancashirelady

    Lancashirelady Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    Once the POA is registered your aunt can only remove you by a Deed of Revocation, which has to be countersigned by a witness and it doesn't sound as if she would be able to manage that or that the solicitor would agree to witness it. I got my Mum's bank card off her by saying I needed it to set up a direct debit and she's never asked for it since. Mind you, she's a person who has always sworn by her chequebook and is always amazed when I remind her that she can't pay for things in shops with a cheque! We toddle down to the bank every fortnight to cash a cheque and that avoids any nasty surprises with people trying to get her to buy things on the phone.

    PLEASE try to stop your aunt driving. Has she seen her GP lately? He can tell the DVLA she is not fit to drive and they can revoke her licence. Again, I had to use subterfuge to get my Dad's car off him as it was starting to look as if it had been in a war zone - said I would take it to get its MOT done and while I had it the DVLA revoked his licence. I guess your aunt will not give in to persuasion from you and you might have to shop her to the DVLA but better that than she cause an major accident.
  12. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    Better she go nuts for a bit than kill someone.

    You might be able to report her to the DVLA anonymously. The most likely thing that will happen is that they'll send someone round to assess her driving and if that person thinks she is unfit to drive they will take her licence and keys (I think) off her there and then.

    I told my dear Dad last year that I felt he should give up driving. It broke my heart, it was only the second time in my life I'd seen him cry. He has Vascular Parkinsonism and although his mind was still fairly sharp his reaction times were dangerous. The way I worded it was that, now he'd been diagnosed with his condition, he had to declare it to the DVLA BY LAW (their generation usually pay attention to the law in a way that younger ones don't). They would either tell him to stop driving immediately (the most likely scenario at his age) or send an assessor round. I said surely it would be better to just stop now on his own terms than go through that?

    Also if your Aunt has an accident, even if it's not actually her fault, and it comes to light that she didn't declare her condition it's possible she could be prosecuted.

    All of the above pales into insignificance when you consider that she could hurt or kill herself, you, a pedestrian or other driver.

    However hard it is and whatever the consequences you have a moral obligation to stop her driving before something awful happens. Telling my Dad was the worst thing I'd had to do up until that point (had to do far worse since of course) but I would do it again. I tried to imagine telling a bereaved mother that her child was dead because I didn't want to upset my Dad and it was a no brainer. I know that sounds very melodramatic but it happens. Good luck x
  13. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    Hello again, Isabella.

    Sorry you're back here because of your aunt but nice to have an update on to your mum.

    There appears to be an official form


    which says

    I'm with the others that it's now up to the authorities to determine her fitness to drive.
  14. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    Northern Ireland
    How does it work... If I phone the DVLA will someone just turn up on her doorstep. She's so suspicious verging on paranoid about being scammed. If someone were to just turn up she'd most likely slam the door in their face. If she refuses to go out for a drive with the assessor what would happen. Has anyone actually been through this process and if so what happened.
  15. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I think they would probably send her a letter - which she may well simply forget.
    One thing I have noticed on here is that I have read several stories of people who have been worried about someone with dementia driving and have later discovered that they were actually driving without a license :eek:
    Might it be a good idea to use some subterfuge to check their license and whether it has expired? If its still current then contact the DVLA.
  16. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    Northern Ireland
    Her licence is still current and has a couple of years left on it. I did try saying her that keeping a car was pointless considering she did such little mileage and that the costs of keeping it far outweighed any benefit. I was promptly told she enjoys having it and the cost doesn't bother her. I've discussed this more with my husband and he thinks I should wait until I have the actual power of attorney documents in my hands before I do anything. He's concerned that if I rattle the pots now it might raise questions as to whether she had the capacity to sign the POAs. She only uses the car at most once per week and its short journies. I do agree she shouldn't be driving however. A few weeks back she decided she wanted to go to the huge Tesco superstore that is not on a bus route from her house. I tried saying other supermarkets in the area will have what you want but to no avail. I went with her. It was a 4 lane carriageway(2 each way). She drove most of it between the 2 lanes. Then she cut across someone to turn into the retail park. Horns blaring at her so she swore and said people think they own the road. I'd have started WW3 if I'd pointed out she was the one at fault. Thankfully it had been 1year since she'd last been there so I'm not concerned she will attempt this anytime soon.

    I did ring Santander regards the chip and signature option. They do offer it when appropriate. They advised me to get her to go into the branch on Monday to get it sorted. I rang her to tell her this good news. She was pleased. However getting her to write down what she needed to ask was quite the job. I then told her to put the note in her purse. I explained there was nothing I could do about her post office account except close it and transfer the money into her Santander account. No she didn't want to do this as its too far to walk to Santander to get money out. She doesn't trust ATMs.

    My phone rang late yesterday evening " oh Isabella I think I've made a terrible mistake". My heart sank wondering what she,'d done. It transpired she thought she'd posted the wrong letter to someone. I had left her 2 envelopes. I placed one in her bag addressed to my daughter with photos in it. The other I had left on the coffee table addressed to me with a post it attached telling her what to put in it when it came and then post it to me. Something so simple to you or I caused her so much annoyance. She said she wouldn't have slept until she spoke to me.

    I could go on and on and on but I can see this has gotten much worse since last autumn and if it continues to decline at this pace full time care can't be too far off. Thankfully she did agree if this was required she would come home to Ireland and go in the home my mum is in. Sorry for the long rant. So far the head count for dementia in family is horrendous. Mum's younger brother died from it last summer. Her elder brother has it and his wife and children care for him. My mum has it. Another brother has it and my daughter is trying to sort out deputyship there. He's in a care home as he never married. Whilst my aunt doesn't have a formal diagnosis its as plain as daylight its taking over her too. Lots of people say there is no genetic link. I beg to differ.
  17. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I can see why you would be concerned about a genetic connection, but the other possibility is something environmental from when they were children. There are genetic forms of AD of course and for some there are tests, although I'm not sure I'd personally want to know. About the only thing any of us can do is make sure we've put out house in order as best we can and that anyone who might have to care for us has clear instructions about what they should and should not do.
  18. Sooty2

    Sooty2 Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    Hi Isabella, Unfortunately you must notify the DVLA of any conditions that make driving unsafe and dementia is one of these.
  19. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Years ago there was talk of aluminium causing dementia. They later changed their minds, as experts so often do about all sorts, but 4 out of 5 of my mother and her siblings have developed Alzheimer's. One got it in her 70s, 3 were over 80. The youngest, who is 14 years younger than my mother, has yet to show clear signs.

    Every single saucepan in my granny's kitchen, which I remember very well, was aluminium. And they had a huge garden with masses of fruit of all sorts, and for half the year there was always some sort of often acidic fruit simmering in an aluminium pan. Never mind all the other cooking.

    I draw my own conclusions.
  20. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    Northern Ireland
    Gosh witzend... You may well be on to something. Mum and her siblings grew up on a farm and there was always lots of home made jams and stewed fruits. I'm told there is no genetic link but i'm not convinced as it seems too coincidental that out of a family of 8 that have survived to older age (2 died young in accidents) that 5 of them have this horrible illness that I know of. I'm not in contact with the other 3 so can't comment on their present state but I wouldn't be surprised if they had it too.

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