Catastrophic accidental injury often results in both loss of capacity and dependency on others for care. In some instances quality of life will be significantly impaired and there may be shortened life expectancy. In many cases, this will involve others making decisions for the injured party:-
- Choice of care – can it be provided at home?
This may not be something which can be planned in advance – care at home is likely to depend on the severity of the injury or decision and whether specialist care is required. Care can be expensive however, if a third party is responsible for an injury leaving an individual with a loss of capacity, then privately funded care paid for in full or in part may be possible.
- Should we make medical interventions? If so, to what extent?
If you were to be left incapacitated as a result of an injury or condition whether or not it is caused by a third party, what type of intervention would you like to have? These types of decisions will be difficult but even more so for your loved ones who may not know what your wishes were. Consider an Advanced Decision to protect your wishes.
- Who will manage your affairs?
If you were to become incapacitated as a result of a car accident, an accident at work or a medical accident, who would deal with decisions about your finances? You can appoint on or more people to act under a Power of Attorney appoint to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
Not all of these kinds of decisions can be planned for particularly in the case of individuals who suffer brain injury as a result of negligent management of their birth who will never have the opportunity to plan for their future or the capacity to make their own decisions.
In circumstances such as these, there are a number of issues including:
- Engaging the Court of Protection to assist on both welfare and financial decisions
- Appointing a Professional Deputy to manage financial day to day decisions
- Appointing a Case Manager to assist in managing a programme of care/rehabilitation/purchase of equipment.
If you can, do not put off until tomorrow what you can plan for today – continue the #Bigconversation