OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — The Ottawa and Kent County Probate Courts are urging members of the public with family members in long-term care facilities to prepare for upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations.
Residents should ensure incapacitated relatives in nursing homes have the appropriate legal documentation in place now, a news release said Monday.
For example, if an incapacitated individual does not have a patient advocate or guardian to act on their behalf, a family member may want to petition the court to appoint a temporary guardian.
“While many residents of nursing homes and family members have already taken the necessary legal steps to allow for important medical decisions to be made on their behalf, the court wants to make sure that there are no delays in vaccinating vulnerable populations,” Ottawa County Chief Probate Judge Mark A. Feyen said. “Family members have an obligation to waste no time in making sure that the proper steps have been taken to make sure their incapacitated loved ones can be vaccinated.”
The courts also ask local nursing homes to inventory patient record to determine which patients require third party consent and to make sure the information is up-to-date.
The courts say they plan to make every effort to act on petitions as quickly as possible.
Ottawa County residents can sign up to receive notifications on when they or their family members can receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the public health department here.