Psychiatric and/or neuro-cognitive decline happens with age in some individuals. This can present a serious risk to persons, especially for those who live alone. When there is concern by family, friends, neighbors, or acquaintances about a person's ability to safely make their own health care decisions, manage their own finances, or to protect themselves from injury, illness, scammers and fraud, a process may be undertaken to legally determine what is needed for the best interest of the individual. If the person is thought to be in immediate danger, 911 should be called. For less urgent situations, your county Adult Protective Services (APS) may be contacted to investigate the situation. Families may seek legal guidance from an attorney, and in many cases, a judge may become involved. Attorney's may request a medical assessment by a physician to be completed. In these scenarios, California State law requires two physicians to independently evaluate the person for "capacity" to make their own decisions, manage their own healthcare and protect themselves from injury and illness, and financially. The evaluation is primarily focused on the person's psychiatric and neuro-cognitive function. These assessments are done with only the patient's best interest in mind. Both physician's will then complete a California State Capacity Declaration form (GC-335). In some cases, the person of concern may refuse to leave their residence to be evaluated. House call physicians may be called to evaluate patients in their home, thereby minimizing anxiety and stress to the patient. Unlike office or clinic based practitioners, house call doctors tend to have ample time during the house call visit to comprehensively and accurately assess the patient. Evaluating patients on site allows mobile doctors to gather useful information about dangers and risks that patients are exposed to in the home environment, which can then aid in assessing the patient's "capacity".
Urgent Med Housecalls offers home medical evaluations for Capacity Declarations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and surrounding areas of Northern California, including Santa Rosa, Napa, Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Monterey, Carmel and Santa Cruz. Same day evaluations are usually available, but may be subject to the time of request and local traffic conditions. We recommend contacting your attorney beforehand, to determine the best course of action. For emergency situations, call 911.