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Going into Residential Care: Enabling your clients to make the best possible choice

Clients entering into the residential and nursing care maze are often faced with a bewildering number of options and the availability of clear cut objective advice is often the last issue to be considered. They can therefore be pressurised both by their families and by social services, into making an inappropriate decision. Advance planning to put the paperwork in place and also to take necessary financial decisions is not always possible, but as previous articles in ECA by Ken Hart and Philip Spiers have indicated, there can be ways through the financial issues even at the last minute. However, making the wrong decision about the care options available is not always surmountable for the frail elderly client.

FORUM: Countdown for Carers

It is starting to look as if April 1 is going to be an important watershed for those who care for an elderly friend or relative. The Government is tightening up the rules that currently allow a carer to back date claims for state help. At present, a carer can back date a claim for state help for up to 12 months. From April 1, however, the maximum any claim can be back dated becomes 3 months. While the Government envisages that this will save £55m a year, the prospects for carers themselves appear to be less rosy.

Dying Tidily

Personal Data Sheet: Appropriate Advice and Recommendations to the Elderly (and Others) for leaving ones affairs in good order Ralph Ray FTII BSc (ECON), TEP Solicitor and Consultant with Shoosmiths and Harrison

Enduring Powers of Attorney: The law Societys Guidelines for Solicitors

In summer 1996, the Law Society published guidelines to assist solicitors in advising clients who wish to draw up an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). The guidelines were prepared by the Societys Mental Health and Disability Sub Committee in response to a number of ethical and practical questions which are often raised by practitioners with the Societys Professional Ethics Division or Practice Advice Service. Details of how to obtain a free copy of the guidelines are given at the end of this article.

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