Let’s talk a little bit more about elderly hospital patients who must be discharged from the hospital, but who no longer have the capacity to care for themselves at home. Hospital discharge planners deal with this type of scenario on a very routine basis, and they are often at a loss as to how they should best proceed. And, despite having no real alternatives, hospital discharge planners who seek professional assistance from attorneys or fiduciaries have been cast in a bad light. This is unfortunate because, while there are surely examples where patients have been taken advantage of, most times this group process is aimed to benefit the patient.
While this blog obviously cannot speak to the motives and intentions of every Arizona probate lawyer, we can point out the types of tools we provide to discharge planners looking to assist their elderly patients. To begin with, we offer free ALTCS guides to help determine whether a patient may be eligible for public benefits. Also, we provide free prescreening to help discharge planners come up with viable care options. Further, we offer a decision making matrix for determining who can act as a surrogate, as well as free power of attorney forms so patients with capacity can appoint an agent to act on their behalf without paying fees to an Arizona probate attorney.
You may be wondering what all of this has to do with AZ probate law, and the answer is that there has been an ongoing discussion about changing the Arizona Probate Code to offer seniors in this type of vulnerable position further protections. We are yet to see how the legislature will come out on this, but of course we have hopes that it will strike the best balance to protect our vulnerable elderly population.