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Power of Attorney

'Start the Conversation', a campaign funded by the Scottish Government, was launched across Tayside in November 2014 to raise awareness of the importance of having a Power of Attorney granted to a trusted relative or friend.

This campaign is a collaborative effort between NHS Tayside, Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross Councils and local law firms.

Through TV adverts shown at peak times in November and December, the campaign aims to encourage people to talk to trusted family and friends about establishing a Power of Attorney. The campaign advert can be viewed on YouTube.

Helen Dryden, who is working on the project with colleagues in Tayside said, "Many people are unaware that if they become ill or injured and are unable to make decisions for themselves, no one else can do this on their behalf unless they have legally been given power to do so through a Power of Attorney.

"Whatever age we are, it is important to think about and make plans for the future. The first step is to have conversations about our wishes, hopes and fears about how we would like to be cared for if we become ill.

"If you are in hospital, a care environment or even your own home, no one can act for you to pay bills, manage your welfare or make key decisions unless you have made your plan.

"Having a Power of Attorney in place and can ensure that your wishes are carried out quickly without prolonged legal negotiations. Your next of kin is powerless without Power of Attorney.

"We are asking people to prepare for the future and act now."

The campaign has a dedicated website, which provides valuable help and information.