What rights do my friend and I have over his care decisions?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 21, 2016
Shez12 asked...

hello do i have any rights as a carer of an elderly gent for 14 years who has recently had a stroke , his son has now come back into this gents life as he is in hospital and upsettting the man as he is saying he wants to put him in a home once released from hospital , this elderly man who is 85 is still of sound mind and has made it clear he wants to return to my home upon discharge from hospital as he has never got on with his son , his son however has said that its not up to the elderly man or myself and we havnt a right in what happens is this correct ?

Expert Answers

You want to know if you have any legal rights over a friend's care. From what you've told me, you have no legal rights over the care of the "elderly gent," you have cared for over fourteen years. However, you state that this man is of sound mind. That means that he has absolute rights over his own care and care decisions. If he wants to return to your home after his discharge from the hospital, he has an absolute right to do so. His son has no rights to determine where or how the man should live.

For the son to have rights over how the father should live, the father must have been declared mentally incompetent by a court and the son appointed as the father's legal custodian. Or, in the alternative, if the father had create what's generally called a "durable power of attorney for health care" [DPA], and named his son as his "agent" (also called "attorney in fact") and the father had become mentally incompetent (under the standard seth forth in the DPA), the son could make health care decisions for the father. I gather that the father has not created this type of DPA.

The father should make it clear to the hospital personnel where he wants to go when is is discharged, and, if necessary, insist on his rights.