Relief about appointing a substitute decision-maker

My Mum was recently admitted to a nursing home around the time that we were reconnecting after several years of poor communication within the family. The nursing home wanted to be clear about who would be responsible for making treatment choices if my mum couldn't do this. They also needed to know who could legally manage her finances.

It took me about a month of thinking it through, understanding it clearly and finding the 'right' words to use when I explained how important it was for her to appoint someone she wanted to make choices and decisions on her behalf. Over the previous months our communication with each other had improved a lot and I explained it as clearly as I could. She understood everything that needed to be done and I could also see a real eagerness in her face that she was ready for me to be her "Guardian".

Mum appointed me as well as my brother as her Enduring Guardian and Enduring Power of Attorney. The lawyer and the secretary took the forms out into the main office to copy them. Mum and I were left sitting together in the lawyer's office and we were both so happy and relieved. I could see a sparkle in her eyes of love and peace towards me, and I suddenly felt a complete shift of my responsibility for my darling Mum and how much she loved and trusted me. We nearly "Danced" her wheelie-walker out of that office, we were both so excited. On our way back to the nursing home we celebrated with a small bottle of Pink Champagne and toasted – to her knowing who will make decisions for her so she gets the best care, and me feeling I was making loving and responsible decisions for our Mum.