Powers of attorney are vital to a family with aging parents. Someone needs to be able to step in and help a senior citizen with medical and financial decisions if a senior can’t do it him or herself. Before you agree to be that person, you should understand exactly what your duties would be.
People Holding a Power of Attorney Follow Your Best Interests
With a power of attorney, the person naming someone to help out is called the principal. The person being chosen to act on the principal’s behalf is the “agent.” That agent has to follow the principal’s wishes.
Say the person who wants you to act as an agent is adamantly against any life-saving measures. You cannot imagine not taking the chance to try at least one attempt to keep living. If you would be unable to tell the doctors to withhold all feeding tubes, ventilators, or other measures designed to save your life, you shouldn’t agree to be the power of attorney.
When you’re a POA, you’re given the patient’s wishes for everything from CPR to end-of-life care. You must follow those wishes. If something comes up that isn’t listed, you have to carefully think what the principal would want. This may be dialysis, medication trials, or very risky surgeries. Make sure you’re okay making the decisions you’d be required to make.
You Need to Stay in Contact
If you are the POA for someone and you move away, you need to make you’re principal aware of this. If you or the principal move to another country, you may not be the best choice to have as POA anymore. You can talk to the doctors over the phone before making decisions, but it’s often best to see the principal in person. There may also be paperwork that has to be signed in person.
Leave Room For Self-Care
When you’re making decisions regarding your parent’s care, you should consider senior care services. First instincts are to care for your parents on your own. It’s hard and you’re likely to get overly stressed if you don’t carefully plan it. You need breaks. You need to be able to take vacations.
A senior care agency can help you with respite care. An expert can also talk about services like transportation and medication reminders. Call today to discuss the rates for senior care in your area.