Legal Category Professional
Legal – Powers of attorney, wills, living will, trusts and other legal documents. Do you have your power of attorney documents completed? Do you know why having a power of attorney is beneficial? If you were in a serious accident what type of life sustaining treatment would you want? Who will make medical decisions and pay your bills when you’re no longer able? What is a guardian and a conservator and when are these legal roles necessary?
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Are Alzheimer’s GPS devices considered a safety measure to protect from the risks of wandering or an invasion of privacy? Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced a diagnosis of dementia two days ago. I wonder, now that she is diagnosed with dementia, how might she rule on electronic surveillance and the use of GPS tracking devices to support safety for persons diagnosed dementia? U.S. v. Katzin was an early Supreme Court case about surveillance. Does personal experience cloud legal judgment?
Health professionals in all specialties become overly attached to clients visiting their practices, living in care communities, or those visited in private homes. Relationships of care, between the health professional and the older adult, become personal. The older adult is viewed as a possession by the health professional—that must be protected at all costs—from the interference of others. As the frequency of these boundary infractions increases, it is more likely that elder law and probate attorneys will be contacted for fiduciary representation.
Estate planning, elder law, and probate are legal specialties with the responsibility of evaluating mental capacity to create plans that will avoid contested litigation by family members. While creating estate plans may seem straightforward, pitfalls exist.
Washington will become the first state to clamped down the unregulated, explosive growth of elder-care referral businesses that rake in profits, sometimes deceptively, by promising to help families find long-term care for the aged.
Many attorneys become involved with families when health care issues arise, especially memory loss. I see many cases where a caregiving situation running smoothly for years suddenly turns into a nightmare. Perhaps the individual requiring care becomes combative or incontinence becomes an overwhelming task to manage. A previously comfortable situation becomes turbulent and turns into a situation where the caregiver is at a breaking point.
Almost anyone can be a professional guardian. Are the results the same from guardian to guardian or is there a difference between professional guardians who commit to implement the standards of membership organizations? How might wards benefit from guardians whose actions support a higher standard of care and thorough oversight? Here are a few questions to ponder regarding supervising service providers and developing service plans.
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When the question of “Should I or Shouldn’t I?” results in ethical dilemmas, the key is asking yourself the right question.
Ventilators, feeding tubes and life extending measures. Have you documented your wishes?
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