From Monday 20 May to Sunday 26 May, it’s Dementia Action week, a week that aims to encourage schools, workplaces and the wider community to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia.
It is not easy to think about a time when a loved one won’t be able to make their own decisions, but it helps to be prepared.
Many people with dementia will eventually reach a point where they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. When this happens, someone else, often a carer or family member will need to make decisions on their behalf.
It is a common misconception that if you are unable to make a decision for yourself, your closest relatives will be automatically entitled to make decisions on your behalf. However, this is not the case. Therefore, it is important to make plans now for a person you can trust to make decisions on your behalf, this will ensure your wishes will be respected.
For your relatives to be able to make these decisions you must have a registered Lasting Power of Attorney in place. Once you have lost mental capacity it is too late to put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises your chosen representatives to make decisions about your health, welfare and finances on your behalf if you find that you are unable to make decisions for yourself
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney
- Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs
This can be used both while someone still has mental capacity and also if they have lost mental capacity. The attorney (the person who makes decisions for you) can make decisions regarding buying and selling property, paying the mortgage, investing money and paying bills.
- Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare
This involves decisions regarding healthcare and personal welfare and can only be used once you have lost mental capacity. The attorney can make decisions about your medical care, your homing situation, and general day-to-day decisions.
Benefits to a Lasting Power of Attorney
There are a number of benefits to having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place:
- You can appoint people that you trust to assist you, thereby avoiding unwanted external assistance.
- Once registered, the Lasting Power of Attorney lasts for your lifetime.
- It outlines your wishes regarding management of your property and financial affairs; including the sale of any property and funding of care from your assets.
- You can make your wishes regarding health and welfare decisions known, including decisions regarding life sustaining treatment and the choice of residential care providers.
- You always retain control of your personal affairs whilst you can still manage to do so.
- The Lasting Power of Attorney can be as flexible as you choose and you have the option to restrict and guide your attorneys.
- If a Lasting Power of Attorney is not put in place your family, who you would have appointed, would need to apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy, which is much more expensive and onerous.
At Blaser Mills Law, we are proud to be supporting a Rotary backed local community project, Making Marlow Dementia Friendly (MMDF), which aims to bring the Marlow community together to make a difference to those living with dementia, as well as their carers and loved ones.
We are delighted to announce, all of our proceeds raised from our tent at the up-coming L’Etape UK cycling festival on Sunday 14th July 2019, will be donated to MMDF to assist them in continuing their great work.
If you would like to find out more about MMDF please click HERE.
If you would like further information on Dementia Action Week click HERE.
If you would like any further information on the content of this article, please contact Hannah Cole on 01494 478 606 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.