Who makes medical decisions for my mother if I am not there? I have POA.

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 12, 2016
Ggarizona asked...

I have medical and financial POA for mother who has Alzheimer's and is in ALF. I plan to take a vacation and wonder who would make decision if I am not there. Can I assign someone in my absence?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Being named the agent in a medical or financial power of attorney does not require you to be tethered to home at all times.

From a legal eyeview, you may not delegate your duties to another person in your stead. It is your mother who had the power and right to pick the agent of her choosing.

And from a practical eyeview, given the wonders of technology these days, you can probably be reached at the click of a cursor or the ring of a phone and handle many financial transactions over the Internet or FAX. And in any worst case scenario, you could probably be transported back to where you were summoned within a day.

The administrator and director of nursing at the ALF, along with any personal doctors and financial people involved with your mother's accounts, likely are already aware that you are her designated agent. But to ease your mind before you go, you may want to doublecheck with them to be sure"”or to give them any alternate contact information that may apply while you're gone: the emergency number on the cruise ship, the tour guide director, the nearest neighbor in France with a good phone and Internet connection.

As a final measure, it may help to ease your mind and plan for possibilities if you talk directly with your mother's care providers and ask their opinions on changes in care she might need during you absence. No one will have an accurate crystal ball on that, of course, but having a plan of action in mind may be helpful to you.

Then go"”and enjoy your trip.