Caring for ageing parents or other elderly relatives is a profound responsibility that many of us will face at some point in our lives. As an attorney appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), the weight of decision-making can feel particularly heavy.  This is especially when it comes to placing a parent in a care home.

It’s a complex and emotionally charged decision that requires careful consideration, compassion, and practicality. Here’s how you can navigate this challenging choice with thoughtfulness and empathy.

Understanding Your Role as an Attorney

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand the legal framework within which you operate as an attorney under the LPA. Your role is one of fiduciary duty, meaning you have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of your parent, the donor of the LPA. This responsibility entails making decisions that promote their welfare, safety, and quality of life, even if those decisions are difficult or unpopular. Read our article: How to act as an attorney to help with this.

Ideally, you will need to be the attorney under both the LPA for Finance and Property and the LPA for Health and Welfare.  Although the latter is only if your parent has lost capacity.  If your parent hasn’t lost capacity, you should discuss any decisions with them.

So, this is partly a finance decision but, also one concerning their wellbeing.  If your parent has lost capacity, it will be up to you to make the decision having made a full assessment.  Before making the decision, you will need to check the LPA to see if there are any preferences or instructions regarding the donor’s wishes concerning being moved out of their home.  If there are instructions, you are best advised to get legal advice and have any decisions recorded.

Recording advice

It is advisable to record any major decisions that you make in case they are challegned at a later date.  If they are challenged, you need to be able to explain what procedure you took to review and assess the situation and who you consulted.

Assessing Your Parent’s Needs and Circumstances

Before contemplating a move to a care home, it’s essential to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your parent’s needs and circumstances. Consider factors such as their physical health, cognitive abilities, mobility, social support network, and financial resources. Assess whether their current living situation adequately meets their needs and if alternative arrangements, such as home care or assisted living, are feasible and sufficient.

Funding the Care Fees

You will also need to look at the financial situation and whether care will need to be paid for privately. If the care is paid privately, you will then need to establish how long your parent can continue to fund the private care home you have chosen and whether the state will pay for the care home you have chosen if the private funds run out. You may want to consider the NHS Continuing Health Care Fund which is not means-tested and may be able to help pay for your parents care home fees.

Age.UK do an excellent guide on Paying for Residential Care

Evaluating the Level of Care Required

The decision to place a parent in a care home should be guided by an honest assessment of their care needs and your ability to meet those needs effectively. Evaluate whether your parent requires round-the-clock supervision, specialised medical care, assistance with activities of daily living, or access to social and recreational activities that a care home can provide. Be realistic about your own capacity to provide care and support, taking into account your personal commitments, resources, and limitations.

My Power of Attorney placing a parent in a care home

Considering the Emotional and Practical Implications

Moving a parent into a care home is a deeply emotional process that can evoke feelings of guilt, grief, and loss for both you and your parent. Take the time to have open and honest conversations with your parent about their wishes, concerns, and preferences regarding their living arrangements. Acknowledge their feelings and fears, and reassure them that their well-being remains your top priority. Additionally, consider the practical aspects of transitioning to a care home, including logistics, financial implications, and the availability of suitable facilities.

Seeking Professional Advice and Support

Navigating the complexities of elder care requires expertise and support from professionals who understand the legal, medical, and social dimensions of aging. Consult with healthcare professionals, social workers, and legal advisors to gain insights into your parent’s care needs, available support services, and the legal implications of residential care. Explore different care home options, visit facilities, and gather information to make an informed decision that aligns with your parent’s preferences and values.

Age.UK have an excellent section on Care Homes.

Making the Decision with Compassion and Respect

Ultimately, the decision to place a parent in a care home is a deeply personal one that demands compassion, empathy, and respect for your parent’s dignity and autonomy. While it may be a challenging and emotional journey, remember that your role as an attorney is to act in their best interests and ensure their safety, comfort, and well-being. Approach the decision-making process with sensitivity, understanding, and a commitment to honouring your parent’s wishes and preserving their quality of life to the best of your ability.


As an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney, the decision to place a parent in a care home is a significant and weighty responsibility. By approaching the decision-making process with empathy, honesty, and practicality, you can navigate this challenging transition with compassion and respect for your parent’s wishes and well-being. Remember that you are not alone in this journey – seek support, guidance, and professional expertise to make informed decisions that honour your parent’s dignity and promote their best interests in the journey of aging and care.


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