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Older Clients: an unexpected hospital admission - how some simple preparation can make your life a bit easier
I work in our Private Client Department and manage older and vulnerable clients’ affairs. This position has made me realise how difficult it is for clients who do not have family members close to them. It could be that they do not live close by, or they do not have a close relationship with the client for whatever reason. At Longmores, we act as Attorneys under Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Finances where there are no other suitable people to take up this role. Where there are no family members to provide a helping hand my role can include a regular visit to check the client has everything they need, liaising with financial advisers to ensure the client’s money is achieving maximum income, arranging care, arranging meal deliveries, contacting third parties for jobs around the house, etc.
Recently, one of my clients was admitted to hospital after contracting a virus. I learnt of this through a neighbour when I had tried to call the client on several occasions and they had not answered. Luckily, I had taken the contact details of the neighbour so could call him to find out what had happened. My client had no close family members and so I visited her at hospital to make sure she had everything she needed and I provided the hospital with my contact details so that I could be updated as to what the client needed when she was discharged. As she is going to have mobility problems, I will need to make sure her home is adapted accordingly. I will also be liaising with the social worker or occupational therapist to make sure she has everything she needs to live as independent life as possible. However, if need be, I can arrange for carers to come into her home to assist her.
If you are on your own and vulnerable, I would advise you to have a plan in place in advance in case you should need to go in to hospital in a hurry. Most people have a friend or a neighbour who keeps an eye out for them who would be willing to help. For example you could:
- provide a list of contact numbers to call, including simple things as your milk or newspaper supplier to temporarily suspend deliveries;
- provide contact numbers for friends and family so they can be told you are in hospital and come and visit you;
- give someone you trust a spare key to your property so that if you are in hospital for any length of time, then they can check in on it and clear the post for you, so it does not look empty;
- they could put the heating on a timer, clear your fridge of perishables, etc;
- they could also set your house alarm if you haven’t had the chance.
It’s never nice to think about what would happen if you needed to go into hospital, but with some simple preparation, it could ensure that you have nothing to worry about while you are there with some peace of mind that everything is taken care of while you concentrate on getting better.
If you are on your own and you think you might need some assistance from our Private Client team, please contact Charles Fraser. I will discuss how Longmores can help you under a Lasting Power of Attorney. It may be that you do not need any assistance at the moment, but if there is a likelihood that you will in the future, it is best to set up the Lasting Power of Attorney now, rather than leave it and not have it in place should you need it unexpectedly.
Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances. Longmores Solicitors LLP are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are not authorized to provide any form of financial advice.