A Health & Welfare POA ( Power of Attorney ) gives you the legal right to nominate someone to represent your choices around care and medical treatment if you’re no longer able to make decisions.
The Health and Welfare POA kicks in if you are deemed unfit to make decisions about your own treatment.
To help guide your POA, you should lay out your wishes and preferences for medical treatment and health care in an Advance Decision. Your Health and Welfare POA cannot over-rule instructions and preferences you have laid out in your Advance Decision.
Typically, having a Health and Welfare POA would enable someone you trust to do any of these things:
- Decide where you should live if you need care and determine what sort of care is right for you.
- Discuss your care with professionals.
- Agree to medical treatment, procedures, care and therapy on your behalf.
- Decide who else should contribute views when making these decisions.
- Take up issues and any legal action needed on your behalf about your welfare.
- Take decisions about how you’re dressed, what you eat, your personal appearance.
- Take decisions about your social and cultural activities – who you see, what you do.
- Take decisions about your learning and development.
- Access your medical files and any other personal data and records.
- Share information responsibly and sensitively with your family and friends.
- Take you on holiday or authorise someone else to.
- Be reimbursed from your estate for any reasonable expenses when acting on your behalf.
In Scotland the Welfare Power of Attorney can be combined with the Continuing Power of Attorney for Property and Financial powers in a Combined Power of Attorney.
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