Activity – Dealing with Concerns

Activity - Dealing with Concerns


The Scenario

This scenario uses Mary and Brian again, whom we first met in the case study on rights, will and preferences. It looks at their situation in a bit more detail.  

  • Mary granted a financial and welfare PoA about 15 years ago, in favour of her son James. Mary had recently been widowed. Some years later Mary met Brian. After a short courtship Brian moved in with Mary. James was heartily disapproving, to the point they became estranged.
  • Mary was diagnosed with dementia about 5 years ago (when she was 80). She wrote to James to let him know but he did not seek any reconciliation. He hasn’t seen or been in contact with his mother for over 10 years now.
  • Recently, despite every attention from Brian, Mary has had to go into care. James has reappeared and is using his PoA to exclude Brian. Brian has not seen Mary since she was admitted and has not heard how she is as the care home won’t tell him anything – as James has prevented this.
  • We know that Mary is distressed at not seeing Brian, that she is asking for Brian, she is continually crying, she cannot understand why he has abandoned her, she is clearly unsettled, is not eating and has increased bed wetting.



You should think about this case study with 4 distinct ‘hats’ on. The following actors have asked you for advice:

  1. The care home – asking for your advice as to what they should do. You will recall they would prefer Mary to see Brian but they tell you they are ‘barred’ from letting Brian see her.
  2. Brian – who has sought your advice about the situation and what he may do.
  3. James – who feels his power of (and role as) attorney is being disrespected and seeks your advice about how he may enforce this.
  4. Mavis – who is Mary’s best friend, on behalf of Mary, wants to know what Mary’s rights are in all of this.

What would your advice be to these respective clients?