The Importance of Power of Attorney

poaRecently, we had a resident move in to our assisted living community that had no family in the area.  The closest relative was two states away and really had never been part of his life.  As a licensed care facility, we require all our residents to have plans in place should they end up in the hospital, become memory impaired or are unable to manage their affairs.

If you or a loved one is thinking about moving into a senior living community, we encourage you to start the process if you haven’t already.  Meeting with an Elder law attorney might be a good place to start.  Establish a power of attorney which is someone who will take care of your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.  There can be more than one person to share this role if one chooses.   Maybe you have one person handle health decisions and another person handle financial matters.  The important thing is to have someone agree to help and have it in writing.

Along the same vein, you will need a living will or advanced health care directive that indicates what your wishes are towards the end of your life.  What life saving measures do you want performed?  The best person to talk this over with is your physician.  Today, hospitals and rehabilitation centers have their patients sign them upon arrival, when possible. It’s best to be prepared, so start the conversation.