Avoid elderly ‘snatch’ by state – make a Health and Welfare LPA

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In April 2009 great-grandmother Betty Figg was snatched by social workers against the wishes of her daughter, her former carer.

Social workers arrived with police and a battering ram to remove the 86 year old woman, who was suffering from dementia, from her daughter’s house. The media quickly spread pictures and video footage of Betty being taken from the house in her wheelchair with a towel thrown over her head.

It seems social services did not agree with Betty’s daughter that it was in Betty’s best interests to be cared for her by daughter in a specially converted room in her daughter’s home.

Could this happen to you and your family? There is a way in which it can be avoided. If a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is given to a family member, social services are prevented from making care decisions. Without this document, social services can make decisions on behalf of a vulnerable person if they think they lack capacity and believe it is in their best interests. They do not have to follow what the family want and cannot be liable for their decisions.

The Wealth Management team at Ashtons Legal are supporting an initiative spearheaded by Solicitors for the Elderly and encouraging all older people to plan ahead and make a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. It is an important and useful document which can assist in a range of circumstances, not just those encountered by Mrs Figg.

For individual advice contact us.


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