What would happen if I can’t make decisions for myself ?

If you are concerned about what might happen to you if you lose the ability to make health and care decisions for yourself, you might want to consider setting up a health and welfare lasting power of attorney (LPA). This is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people (called attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so.

A health and welfare LPA covers decisions such as:

- your daily routine, such as washing, dressing and eating

- consenting to operations and treatment plans

- your medical care, including whether to consent to or refuse life-sustaining treatment

- where you live, such as staying in your own home or moving into a care home

- enables your attorney to have access to your medical records and ask for a second opinion

A health and welfare LPA can only be used when you lack mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself and you are unable to understand, remember, weigh up or communicate your wishes. This could be due to an illness, injury, disability or dementia.

There are many benefits of having a health and welfare LPA, such as:

- You can choose who you trust to act as your attorney and make decisions that are in your best interests.

- You can give guidance and instructions to your attorney about your preferences and values, such as your religious beliefs, dietary requirements or personal care standards.

- You can avoid disputes and conflicts between your family members, friends and medical staff about what you would want.

- You can protect your rights and dignity by ensuring that your wishes are respected and followed.

- You can have peace of mind that someone will be able to look after your health and welfare if you can no longer do this yourself


A health and welfare LPA is a powerful and important document that can give you more control over your future. If you want to learn more about how to make one then contact Emma Woollard at Prettys Solicitors at ewoollard@prettys.co.uk

Emma Woollard