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5 Things You Should Know About Becoming a Power of Attorney for Your Senior Parent

an adult child talks with their parent about becoming a power of attorney for senior parents

Having an aging parent is never easy. It can be difficult to watch someone dear to you slowly fall into physical and mental decline. At some point, the burden of making important life decisions will fall onto the senior adult’s children. In order to improve your elderly loved one’s quality of life, it may be best to look into senior memory care from a reputable facility like Buckner Retirement Services.

At Buckner, we are committed to providing our residents with rich and vibrant lives regardless of age or cognitive ability. Our luxury communities offer a wide variety of services and amenities that provide seniors with healthy and active lives. Families can rest easy with our full continuum of care that guarantees the comfort and safety of their elderly loved ones. If you are in need of quality senior memory care for parents with cognitive impairment, contact us at 214.227.7182 to learn more about what we can offer.

What Is a Power of Attorney for Senior Parents?

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone to make decisions on behalf of another person for whatever reason. While the scope of authority can be broad, its usage in health care makes it a common element in elder law. A power of attorney for senior parents may be put in place due to the following reasons:

  • If they are expecting medical concerns and would like to ensure that decisions can be made for them by someone they trust in case they become unable to. This applies to seniors that may have been diagnosed with dementia or a terminal illness or if they are heading into risky surgery that can result in complications.
  • If they are struggling with or unwilling to deal with their financial obligations, a power of attorney can allow someone else to step in to ensure that their finances are properly managed.
  • They merely wish for the convenience of having someone else manage their affairs so that they can focus on their retirement.
  • If they foresee disagreements among their children in the future regarding their finances or their end-of-life decisions, they may opt to clearly designate who will have the authority to make decisions on their behalf.

For whatever reason a senior parent may have for establishing a power of attorney, having one in place can ensure peace of mind for all parties in the event of anything unexpected.

5 Considerations for a Power of Attorney for a Dementia Patient

As with most decisions regarding the care of elderly loved ones, it is most often best to have decisions and plans in place before they become necessary. When planning to become a power of attorney for senior parents, it is important to keep these five things in mind:

  1. While the nominating party is still of sound mind, a power of attorney can be rescinded at any point. They can also contest any decisions made as long as they are still in control of their faculties.
  2. A power of attorney can only be put in place when the nominating party is still of sound mind. Someone who is unable to make decisions for themselves cannot assign power of attorney.
  3. Not all powers of attorney would have the same function. Consult with an estate lawyer in order to ensure that the correct power of attorney is put in place in preparation for the future.
  4. Certain kinds of powers of attorney will only grant authority once the nominating party is considered incompetent. If your senior parent is unwilling to relinquish their independence, this option is worth considering for their peace of mind.
  5. In the event of a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it is best to put a power of attorney in place before the illness progresses. Once the cognitive decline is too severe, you would need to apply for a conservatorship instead.

Assigning a power of attorney may be a difficult conversation to have, but it is one that is best discussed as soon as possible, ideally before it is even needed. Once a senior loved one is considered incompetent, a conservatorship would need to be obtained in order to make decisions on their behalf. This process is time-consuming and would involve a judge’s decision, which is far more complicated than putting a power of attorney in place.

Get Quality Senior Memory Care from Buckner Retirement Services

Receiving a dementia diagnosis for an elderly loved one can be difficult. Here at Buckner, we offer services and programs to help ease your family’s worries. We are committed to providing our senior residents with a safe and enriching environment to spend their golden years, regardless of cognitive ability. Contact us at 214.227.7182 today to schedule a tour.