How do I make a Power of Attorney for Personal Care?

4. Learn about expressing your wishes

Your can also include your wishes about personal care that you may or may not want. These are sometimes called advance care plans.

You can also put your wishes in a separate document. Or you can let people know about them in another way, such as telling your attorney or making a recording.

Your wishes will count as long as when you made them:

  • no one forced you to,
  • you were , and
  • you were at least 16 years old.

Your wishes can include things like:

  • staying in your own home as long as possible
  • respecting your religion when choosing food
  • letting doctors use artificial life support if you have an illness you'll die of

Before you decide what your wishes are, you may want to talk to your doctor or other health practitioner about:

  • health problems that you have now, and
  • what health problems you might have in the future.

This could help you make better wishes about your future care.

How your wishes are followed

If you become , your attorney or (SDM) must try to follow your wishes if they apply to the decision that they have to make. This is true even if they don't agree with your wishes.

If your attorney or SDM decides that following your wishes is not possible, they must make the decision that they think is in your best interests.

For example, you might have said you don't want to move into a long-term care home. But you now need care and supervision 24 hours a day. Your attorney might decide to move you into a long-term care home if:

  • you don't have any family members or friends who can care for you, and
  • you don't have enough money to hire the caregivers you need.

Your attorney can decide that your wish is impossible to follow without getting approval from the Consent and Capacity Board.

But, your attorney must apply to the Consent and Capacity Board if following your wishes is possible but your attorney thinks you would feel differently now if:

  • you were still capable, and
  • you knew about the health conditions you have and the most current treatment options.

Your written wishes are not for doctors or medical staff to follow. They cannot act based on your wishes. Your doctors must get what's called “informed consent” from your attorney or SDM before they give you any health care. Informed consent is agreeing to medical treatment after receiving information about the treatment.

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