Should nursing home residents have a medical power of attorney?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2021 | Elder Law, Estate Planning |

If you are planning to move your elderly parents into a nursing home, you undoubtedly have a great deal on your plate. After all, not only must you choose the right facility, but you also need to figure out how to pay for extended care. Encouraging your parents to write a good estate plan may be key.

As part of the estate planning process, your parents may want to create a durable power of attorney for health care matters. With this legal tool, your mother and father designate someone to make medical decisions on their behalves if they cannot make them for themselves.

Why do nursing home residents need health care POAs?

It is advisable for all adults in the Peach State to have health care POAs, as unexpected accidents and serious illnesses happen all the time. For nursing home residents, though, a health care POA is particularly useful for the following reasons:

  • Residents may experience rapid mental decline
  • Residents may become comatose
  • Residents may be terminally ill
  • Residents may be physically unable to communicate their wishes

Who can serve as a health care agent in Georgia?

Georgia law places few parameters on who your parents may choose to make medical decisions for them. Provided you are both an adult and not your parents’ health care provider, you can probably act as their health care agent. They may also choose another relative, a trusted friend or even someone else.

You do not want your parents’ doctors to have questions to which they are unable to find answers quickly. Ultimately, by persuading your mother and father to designate a health care agent before moving into the nursing home, you may increase their chances of receiving the care they want.

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