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llw26, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 189
Experience:  LCPC-2015. Clinical Forensic Psychology
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Take for example a 75 year-old patient who is suffering from

Customer Question

Take for example a 75 year-old patient who is suffering from numerous illnesses, including:
Sleep deprivation
Untreated sleep apnea
Uncontrolled high blood sugar
Narcotic withdrawal anxiety
Uncontrolled chronic back pain
Memory loss due to small strokes suffered during narcotic detox
Should such a patient be diagnosed at least as temporarily incapacitated to make decisions such as power of attorney designation, or writing a Will?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  llw26 replied 8 months ago.

Hello - my name is ***** ***** I hope I can help!

Expert:  llw26 replied 8 months ago.

I have a question - is the individual a danger to him or herself or others? Are they able to take care of themselves (i.e., take medications, bathe, make themselves dinner, etc.)?

It depends on the state as to what a power of attorney can do.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The patient is not a danger to themselves or others as far as being mentally unstable. But for several years has had difficulty taking good care of themselves due to all of the above conditions, with the exception of the most recent diagnosis of small strokes, which are expected to have permanent negative effects on ability to make good medical, financial, and legal decisions.I'm trying to find out, given all of the above conditions including the strokes, should the patient have been diagnosed as being temporarily unable to designate powers of attorney or write a will and testament.The reason I use the word temporarily, is because it would be hard to determine the patient's level of permanent mental incompetence, given that there are resolvable health issues, outside of the strokes, that affect patients memory and decision making ability.
Expert:  llw26 replied 8 months ago.

It is definitely possible that they could be temporarily unable to designate a power of attorney, write a will, or write a testament. However, finding someone incompetent to make the aforementioned decisions is usually quite difficult to do though. They would need an assessment by a mental health professional - and the professional would have to assess their behaviors/abilities pre-stroke and post-stroke. Did they receive an assessment?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I don't know if they received an assessment or not. I just know that power of attorney designations were post strokes and while the patient was suffering from withdrawal anxiety, chronic pain and all the other illnesses I mentioned.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Well the website is asking me to rate, but I did not hear back from you.
Expert:  llw26 replied 7 months ago.

My apologies, I was out of town and the web page doesn't work on my phone for some reason.

I am going to open this question back up - are you able to have this question housed under legal? I would change it to such, given that this is more of a legal question than mental health. Again, my apologies for not responding sooner.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Are you a lawyer or are you a mental health professional? I thought I posted my original question to a psychiatrist. And I thought you replied as a psychiatrist. Now the site says lawyer under your screen name.
Expert:  llw26 replied 7 months ago.

Sorry I just saw this - I am a mental health professional (psychologist to be) not psychiatrist. But I think having a lawyer answer this question would best suite you. A psychiatrist is not necessarily going to know the law as well as a lawyer.

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