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Action you can take during the early stages of Dementia

Action you can take during the early stages of Dementia

You can make an LPA if you have early stages of Dementia

If you are living with Dementia, making a Lasting Power of Attorney now can be invaluable to you in the future.

Over 1 million people are expected to be living with Dementia by 2021

It is estimated that more than 850,000 people are living with Dementia across the UK and, sadly, this is expected to rise rapidly to over a staggering 1 million people by 2021.
Dementia is a collective, wide-ranging term for a number of conditions that affect the brain. One of the most common types of Dementia you are likely to have come across is Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia can actually affect a person at any age but it is more common in those over the age of 65. The most common and wide ranging symptoms of Dementia include, amongst many things, memory loss, difficulties processing information, making decisions, concentrating and communicating. Dementia can also have a severe impact on the ability to retain basic skills such as reading, writing and numeracy etc. Unfortunately, these symptoms get worse over time, often rapidly, and a person living with Dementia is likely to eventually be unable to make decisions about their own care and finances which will have significant consequences.

What can you do if you are diagnosed with Dementia?

Act now and make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA allows a person or people, (known as your attorney(s), to be appointed to make decisions on a person’s behalf if they are unable to do so. An LPA can be made for financial affairs and/or health and welfare*. However, an LPA can only be made whilst you have sufficient capacity to understand the documents and their consequences and communicate decisions about who you want to appoint to act on your behalf and how they should be able to do that.

You can make an LPA even during the early stages of Dementia

It is possible to make an LPA during the early stages of Dementia and we would strongly encourage this to be done without delay. Unfortunately a diagnosis of Dementia can deteriorate rapidly and with little warning. Putting an LPA in place now will ensure that a person living with Dementia can exercise control over their future which can offer peace of mind and allow them to formalise their wishes about who should make decisions on their behalf once they are unable to do so.

If action is not taken quickly and should a person diagnosed with Dementia lack the capacity to make an LPA then it will be necessary for an application for a Deputyship Order to be made to the Court of Protection by a person wishing to manage that person’s affairs on their behalf. However such an application could take 6 months or more to be processed, which can be unhelpful at a time when any delay may cause significant difficulties e.g. in the financing of care or making decisions about what care should be received. An application to the Court of Protection can also prove to be expensive and above all, incredibly demanding for a person to have to manage alongside dealing with the effects of their loved one’s diagnosis. There may also be occasions where the person making the application is perhaps not who the person living with Dementia would have chosen to make decisions on their behalf if they were doing so themselves.

If a person living with Dementia makes an LPA whilst they are able to, these potential difficulties and the distress that can ensue can be avoided. Action should be taken now to ensure that they retain a level of control over what should happen if they become unable to make decisions for themselves.

Get in touch with us today on 0113 320 5000 for a sensitive and proactive approach to beginning the process of making an LPA.

You can read some examples of when setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney can be useful for finances, business and health