As Powers of Attorney for a friend of ours with Alzheimers Disease we encountered a most remarkable turn of events on Monday. After having stopped at an insurance company on the Capitol Square and obtaining a renter’s insurance policy for him, and also getting the proper check from a downtown bank to pay for the policy from our friend’s account, we headed to the next place on our schedule.
The Madison Public Library.
We wanted to be linked to his library account so that we could be placed on an email alert notice for when books that our friend had checked out may not have been returned on time. We wanted the email notice to be sent our way so we could insure matters were all handled as they should be. Surely there could be no problem with an email alert and getting us linked to his account. After all, we had already arranged almost every other account, including matters with his doctor, in such a fashion to insure that our friend has less worry at this stage in his life. Remember that before we arrived at the library we had completed financial transactions at an insurance company and a bank. We were sure that this matter at the library would be handled in a few keystrokes at the front desk.
Oh no! Not so fast.
The lady who heard our request was pleasant, but very unsure how to proceed, and had to ask her supervisor. About two minutes later she returned to tell us that there was no way, in spite of us having all the forms that were signed and notarized granting power of attorney, that the library could place our email into the account without having our friend in person to OK the matter. Having just had the insurance company, and the bank both deal with the needs we presented without hesitation, and then have the library reject the request of making sure overdue books get returned, was nothing short of amusing.
I may be a midwestener, but I am no longer shy about saying things about issues that make no sense once they are presented to me. I asked if they ever dealt with people who had Alzheimers, or folks such as ourselves who sought to help a friend with the disease–friends mind you armed with 28-page legal documents granting us every authority under the sun. She informed us that she had never been presented with such an issue.
I then thanked her for being a ‘forward thinker’ on this matter.
Others have argued that the library was really just trying to protect our friend’s right to privacy at the library. I am sure that this is the case. The library shouldn’t just allow a stranger to come in and ask for information about someone else’s reading habits. The fact though that we were legally endowed to be making this sort of request with 28-pages of legal text in hand to prove it is what frustrates.
Our friend visits the library often, and there is no problem having him there with us to complete what is needed to be done. The problem is the needless hurdle put in place to remind someone with this disease that they are not able to live life like they once did. That is why the power of attorney was granted–so that we could do things for him that will allow him to live life and concentrate on the matters he needs to for his health. By our doing things and making arrangements per his request, and doing them out of his sight, is a more proper way to handle these affairs. There should be no reason for the Madison Public Library to have more concerns about an email than the insurance and bank did with the other matters with which we dealt.