This month Sarah Rochira, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, discusses the importance of accessing information and guidance on lasting power of attorneys (LPAs).
"My role as the independent voice and champion for older people across Wales not only involves working to drive change on their behalf and providing assistance and support where it’s needed, but also growing older people’s knowledge and understanding about key subjects and empowering them to take action.
Many of the older people I have met and spoken with across Wales have described the challenges they often face in finding reliable and easily accessible information to guide and support them.
Making arrangements for lasting powers of attorney (LPA) was one particular area that older people told me they found it difficult to find useful and meaningful information on. Whilst they were acutely aware of the importance of making such arrangements, many older people were unsure about the process of getting an LPA in place and were concerned about the potential costs of contacting a solicitor for information and advice.
I wanted to address this knowledge gap and that’s why I was pleased to have the opportunity to work in partnership with the Office of the Public Guardian to publish ‘An easy guide to lasting powers of attorney’, providing a wide range of information about LPAs in a clear, accessible format and answering a number of questions I frequently heard about LPAs.
Our guide was launched in January 2016 (both online and in hard copy) and since then we have promoted it at our engagement events with older people across Wales. I’m happy to say that feedback on the guide has been very positive and it has proved to be highly popular amongst older people and their families, with over 1,200 copies having been downloaded from my website and over 1,300 hard copies distributed following requests.
For further information about the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, visit www.olderpeoplewales.com To download a copy of ‘An Easy Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney’ click here, or call 03442 640670 to request a hard copy."