Almost weekly I come across an article or presentation about the rising incidence of Elder Abuse in our society. Police forces have programs to educate the public. Senior’s organizations and advocacy groups are becoming more vocal in helping to identify the warning signs and offering support. If you’ve given a relative or friend Power of Attorney (POA) for Personal Care or Property could you also be giving power to potential abusers? Or if you are the person with the responsibility of a POA do you understand your responsibilities and expectations, or could someone interpret what you’re doing as abusive?
According to Wikipedia, the definition of Elder Abuse is “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”
Before you determine who should be responsible for your personal care or property ask yourself these questions;
1. Do I trust you explicitly?
2. Are you the best choice to manage my money and property, and do so in my best interest?
3. Do you know how I’ve lived these past years and will do what is possible to keep me in my lifestyle and/or my community if possible? Will you get me the best healthcare and advocate for my quality of life?
4. Am I doing this because I don’t want to hurt your feelings by choosing someone else, even though you might not be the best person for the job?
5. Do you live within a reasonable location from me so it’s not an additional burden to act on my behalf or react in case of emergency?
For more information on the extent, warnings signs and help regarding Elder Abuse, take the time and check-out these sites:
Also according to Wikipedia – The abuse of elders by caregivers is a worldwide issue. In 2002, the work of the World Health Organization brought international attention to the issue of elder abuse. Over the years, government agencies and community professional groups, worldwide, have specified elder abuse as a social problem.
We at Ontario Personal Estate and Business Executors will take on the POA for property only. For years we’ve been assisting clients with their finances, paid their bills, dealt with their government communications, and prepared their personal taxes.
We think it’s imperative for the POA for personal care to know and understand the wants and needs of those they are responsible for. Having history with the individual can go a long way in this transition of power for personal care.
Trust and respect is a two-way street, and you are entitled to it.
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Until next time,