Assessing Care Needs – When Needs Fluctuate.
Assessing care needs can be tough, especially with the immense pressure on Social Workers and the NHS. Bearing in mind that the family have NO RIGHTS unless there is a Health and Welfare Lasting Power in place, only the person whose needs are being assessed has any rights. And if the carers decide they do not have the ability to make decisions, only the Court of Protection has the right to overrule them. Mental capacity is not constant with most people.
And the standard by which it is judged will vary depending on the urgency and importance of the decision. There is a massive difference in the standard required to decide which coat to wear today, and deciding whether or not to have a life-saving operation or to sell your home. The ability to make decisions can change very rapidly, and people may be lapse in and out of capacity quite quickly. It is quite a complex test and is essentially a legal test rather than anything else, so you can see why Social Workers may have difficulty making relatively snap decisions with people they may hardly know. The family, given the authority, are in a far better position to make such decisions.
In 2014, a survey of Social Workers showed that more than half of the decisions made by Social Workers about peoples ability to make decisions were wrong. So arming the family with at least Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
The video is fairly wide-ranging, but I think you will find it worth watching.
Fluctuating needs and fluctuating mental capacity are a serious problem. But the situation is far better if both types of Lasting Power of Attorney are in place, so the right people can make decisions or push for extra resources or help. Much better to have power on your side rather than risk having to appeal to the Court of Protection who will tend to accept Healthcare professionals views, even though they don’t really know what your wishes would have been.