Caregiving is now a common experience, however roles and activities can be very different from one caregiver to the next. Caregiving is dynamic, and it can move in different directions at any given time. Encouraging caregivers to use their voice, especially astheir role expands, can improve their own situation and the care team’s ability to help. Here are strategies to consider when using and strengthening your caregiver’s voice: [Read more…]
Kate Landreth, Education & Learning Lead at Family Caregivers of BC offers a mindfulness practice and seated yoga movement practice. Follow along from the comfort of your home and take time and space for yourself during your caregiving journey.
Susan was thankful her mother Catherine had prepared a Power of Attorney because that meant that after Catherine’s accident, Susan was able to step in and help Catherine with her finances. The accident left Catherine unable to leave the house and it had also affected her mentally – many days Catherine just wasn’t herself. She wasn’t able to pay her bills anymore or balance her cheque book. Susan did her mother’s banking, took her to the doctor, arranged to have her bills paid, shopped for her groceries and arranged for a cleaning lady and a companion to come in from time to time.
To make it easier to do those things, Susan periodically transferred funds from her mother’s account into Susan’s own account so she could pay the bills online. Susan was careful with Catherine’s money. She found an acquaintance of her mothers who offered to do cleaning and spend time as a companion for a really low fee. The friend would periodically let Susan know the time spent and she paid cash by making cash withdrawals from Catherine’s account. Catherine really liked the friend as a companion and having someone come in to clean was so helpful.
After a time, it became clear that Susan’s business needed an injection of cash. Since Susan was such a great help, Catherine wanted to help her. On one of her mentally alert days, Catherine suggested Susan take a gift of money to help out with the business. At first Susan didn’t want to take the gift but after some convincing, she agreed. Susan wrote a cheque from Catherine’s account to herself for the money, signing in her capacity as attorney. She made sure to write “gift from mom” on the cheque to clearly document it. After a time, both Catherine and Susan agreed that Susan should be paid a small monthly fee for all the extra work she was doing for Catherine as her attorney.
Catherine was happy and it seemed the arrangement was working perfectly. Susan thought so too. Can you spot 5 problem areas in the way that Susan has been using her Power of Attorney authority? Keep reading to see the problem areas:
- section 19(4) of the Power of Attorney Act specifies that a representative must keep the adult’s property separate from her own property so Susan should not transfer money into her own account each month, even if she was keeping proper records.
- by doing a “cash deal” with the friend to save Catherine money, Susan is opening herself up to risk because without receipts she isn’t able to document the expense and Susan may be unable to prove that the cash withdrawals were being used for Catherine’s benefit. If the bank statements were examined, it would look to an outsider that Susan was helping herself to Catherine’s money. Susan could be found liable for those funds.
- section 20 of the Power of Attorney Act specifies that unless there is a specific clause in the Power of Attorney document permitting Susan to make a gift to herself, she is not allowed to do so. Susan should carefully read the Power of Attorney Document before taking any kind of a gift to make sure the power exists in the document. Even then, Susan must make sure that the gift does not negatively impact Catherine’s financial situation.
- section 24 of the Power of Attorney Act specifies that unless the Power of Attorney document authorizes the payment of compensation to the attorney, the attorney is not allowed to take a fee for acting for the adult. Susan should carefully read the Power of Attorney Document before taking any kind of fee to make sure the power exists in the document.
- Susan should carefully review the Power of Attorney document to make sure it is what is called an “Enduring Power of Attorney”. If Catherine’s Power of Attorney document is not an Enduring Power of Attorney, then it automatically ends when Catherine becomes mentally incapable. If Susan continues to use the power after Catherine is mentally incapable, then she is in breach of the rules.
For more information on Powers of Attorney, see “Role and Responsibilities of an Attorney” by Nidus
Amy-Alexandra Jaworsky is a Victoria lawyer practicing in the areas of wills, probate, residential real estate and corporate matters. firstname.lastname@example.org / 250.382.9282
Concerned about the COVID-19 virus? A caregiver’s role may increase or intensify through this time. Please remember you are welcome to call our Caregiver Support Line Monday-Friday 8:30am to 4pm. 1-877-520-3267. Let Us Help.
We are providing information and resources to support and protect our staff, volunteers, clients and community. We greatly appreciate the measures that individuals and communities are taking to remain healthy and safe. FCBC staff are monitoring COVID-19 information and taking guidance on health matters from our federal, provincial and local health authorities. Also read the latest enews from FCBC here.
We encourage you to follow the links below and refer to official sources for the latest updates on COVID-19. The main message for everyone is to stay home or social distance by 2 metres and clean your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer. If you are the main caregiver to someone it is important to consider support options if you are experiencing virus systems, such as fever, sore throat, cough, fatigue or muscle aches. Refer to the BC Self Assessment Tool below. Please reach out to your support network or resources to plan ahead.
Key Information on COVID-19 can be found at the links below:
- Gov of Canada – How to Care for a Person with COVID-19 at Home – Advice for Caregivers here
- Gov of Canada – How to Self Isolate When you May have been exposed and Have No Symptoms here
- For up to date information from the Government of Canada https://www.canada.ca/en.html
- COVID-19 BC Self Assessment Tool – BC’s self-assessment tool for #COVID19 is now online and will help determine if you need further assessment or testing. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to. https://covid19.thrive.health/
- COVID-19 line at 1-888-COVID19 or text at 1-888-268-4319. The toll-free phone line is open at 1-888-268-4319 (1-888-COVID19) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week for non-medical information about the virus. That includes the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing, as well as access to support and services from the provincial and federal governments
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan here
- BC Centre for Disease Control for any current information on prevention, testing and self isolation.
- please check with your Health Authority here
Other useful information can be found below:
- World Health Organization Coping With Stress
- World Health Organization Coping With Stress for Children
- Vancouver Coastal Health How to Wash Your Hands
KEEPING TRACK OF WHO’S WHO ON THE CARE TEAM
PART 2 IN A 3-PART SERIES
By Wendy Johnstone
Many services are available in the community. Our health care and social systems have services that are provided both publicly and privately. The difference between publicly and privately funded services is based on the type of service and eligibility. Knowing “who does what and in which system or company” can be tricky to track, especially when there are multiple people involved. [Read more…]