Issue Of Mental Capacity
More importantly, you will be able to discuss the issue of capacity, something which is closely associated with dementia. Together with your GP, you would be able to assess and discuss whether or not you have the capacity to make certain decisions. You might find that you would benefit from a little bit of help from a close relative or friend in making some or all decisions.
Talking About Dementia Sex And Intimacy
For many people living with dementia, physical intimacy continues to be a source of comfort, support and pleasure for many years. However, some people may experience sexual difficulties. There is no single normal way of dealing with these.
It can be a difficult subject to discuss, but you might find it helpful to talk to someone you trust, such as a good friend or family member. You could also raise the issue in a carers support group. To hear how others in a similar situation have dealt with their experiences, visit our online community, Talking Point. You can also share your experiences, and ask for advice on sex and intimacy from other people affected by dementia.
How Do I Make Sure My Will Is Valid
For a will to be valid:
- it must be in writing, signed by you, and witnessed by two people
- you must have the mental capacity to make the will and understand the effect it will have
- you must have made the will voluntarily and without pressure from anyone else.
The beginning of the will should state that it revokes all others. If you have an earlier will, you should destroy it.
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Enduring Power Of Attorney
You may have already made an Enduring Power of Attorney which has been around for a number of years. A new Enduring Power of Attorney can no longer be made. However, if an Enduring Power of Attorney was created before October 2007, then this can still be used and registered. After October 2007, Lasting Powers of Attorney took the place of Enduring Power of Attorneys. An Enduring Power of Attorney works similarly to a Lasting Power of Attorney but it is more general.
An Enduring Power of Attorney becomes valid from the moment the person giving the power, known as the donor, and the attorney, who are the individual who have been given the power, sign the document. This is a key difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney. With the Lasting Power of Attorney it needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.
How Can Evolve Family Law Help
The decision to separate or divorce is never easy. It is even harder when a spouse is ill. In my experience as a Whitefield divorce solicitor, it is possible to divorce with dignity after a diagnosis of dementia as in many situations, whilst a spouse cannot cope sharing a home, they want their spouse to be provided for. The first step is to look into your options so you can make an informed decision about what is right for you.
For advice about separation or divorce or financial settlement options please call me on +44 1477 464020 or email me at
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Why Would Someone Need An Lpa
Some people, including people with dementia, will come to a point where they are unable to make decisions about their finances or care anymore. This is called loss of mental capacity. A person is judged to have lost mental capacity when they can no longer understand the information needed to make the decision, weigh the information up, retain the information for as long as is necessary to make the decision, and communicate their decision to others. Appointing an attorney in an LPA before the person with dementia loses mental capacity means that important decisions that best reflect their stated wishes can still be made about their care and affairs once capacity is lost.
A health and welfare LPA will only come into effect once the person has lost the mental capacity to make that particular decision. Whether someone has the mental capacity to make a decision is usually decided by a health or social care professional, who is knowledgeable about the Mental Capacity Act and its Code of Practice.
The assessment of whether a person has mental capacity to make a decision only covers that particular decision, at that particular time for example, receiving medical treatment. This is because mental capacity can be temporarily lost, for example, while unconscious, sedated by medication, delirious through fever or infection etc. .
A property and financial affairs LPA will come into effect as soon as it is registered, unless alternative instructions are stated in the LPA.
What Is The Mental Capacity Act
The Mental Capacity Act is designed to protect and empower people who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment.
Your doctor, social worker or other medical professional can help assess mental capacity.
If someone lacks capacity to make a decision, which needs to be made for them, the MCA states the decision must be in their best interests.
The MCA has a checklist to help decide what’s in a person’s best interests.
This is why it’s important to put plans in place as soon as possible.
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The Difficult Decision To Divorce A Loved One With Dementia
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Back in 2014, the Alzheimers Society report predicted that by 2025 the number living with dementia would rise to over 1,000,000. NHS data actually shows that the number of people assessed with dementia has fallen to less than half the level before the Covid-19 pandemic 10,535 in February 2021 compared to 23,392 in February 2020.
Further, in the same period, the number of people receiving an initial memory assessment fell by two thirds, while the number of referrals to memory clinics which help diagnose dementia, fell by 42%. As a consequence of this, the total number of patients aged over 65 with a dementia diagnosis fell by just over 43,000 a drop of 10%.
It is highly likely that these figures are misleading and that there will be many others undiagnosed within the thousands of people waiting for diagnosis. This is a particularly difficult time for families and people with dementia, because they do not yet know how and when the services will get through to them.
People who have lost loved ones to dementia often say that it is a double bereavement. Firstly, when you lose the personality of the person you love and then, often many years down the line, when you suffer the physical loss.
The Alzheimers Society is a great resource for information and support.
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Sharing Your Struggles And Receiving Help Is Important
Millions of caregivers make every effort to do the task of caregiving well, and some end up doing it mostly alone. These caregivers often have no idea how exhausted there are, and if they do, they may feel like their fatigue doesn’t matter anyway because they have a job to do.
Instead of barely hanging on, day after day, seek out home healthcare services, adult daycare facilities, respite care, and support and encouragement groups for caregivers. These resources for dementia care can help you to be a better caregiver by refilling your cup of available energy.
Feel like you have nowhere to turn for help? Contact the Alzheimer’s Association. They have a 24-hour helpline , and their listening ears and knowledge of local resources can provide you with direction and practical resources for your specific situation and community. Caregivers who have finally accessed some support look back and say how very helpful this was to maintaining their own physical and emotional health through the process.
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Things About Dementia People Wish They’d Known Earlier
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrases, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” or “Ignorance is bliss.” While that may be true some of the time, it’s often not accurate when coping with dementia. Having worked with thousands of people impacted by Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, I can testify to the fact that there are definitely things that, as caregivers, they wish they would have known earlier about dementia. Here they are.
What Can We Do To Feel Better
There are a number of ways to relieve pent-up sexual tension for example, masturbation. Exercise and other energetic activities may also help reduce physical tension.
Sexual intimacy can meet needs for closeness, touch, belonging, security, acceptance and warmth, or the need to feel special to another person. If some of these other needs can be met in other ways, a persons desire for sex may be reduced. For example, close non-sexual friendships can help to meet some of the need for emotional intimacy.
Therapies, such as massage and reflexology, which involve physical contact, can be very relaxing. If you and your partner are finding that you are unable to have sex or be intimate, it could be useful to look at other activities which could help reduce any frustration you both may be feeling.
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How To Apply Timescales Forms And Costs
If you would like to become a deputy then you must submit a form to the Court of Protection. They will then assess your request in detail, looking at your suitability from the information provided in the application form.
The person who lacks capacity must visit their GP or medical practitioner to be assessed for mental capacity. The GP or medical practitioner will complete a Medical Certificate to be submitted alongside the application to the Court of Protection. A GP or medical practitioner may charge for completing the medical evidence and this can range from £50 – £300.
The application itself involves supplying a lot of detailed information about the vulnerable persons financial circumstances and history, the medical assessment form and a legal Undertaking from the deputy to the Court of Protection. The application fee is £400 which is payable to the Court of Protection and needs to be sent with your application. If the Court of Protection decides that your case requires a hearing then there may be a £500 fee payable and they will let you know when this is payable by.
If you are successful and are appointed as a deputy, you must pay an annual supervision fee depending on what level of supervision you require. This fee becomes payable on 31 March each year for the previous year.
- £320 if you are a type 1, 2 or 2A deputy,
- £35 if you are a type 3 deputy.
Three quarters of people are unaware that they can affect their risk of developing dementia.
How To Make A Lasting Power Of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a safe way of maintaining control over the decisions that will be made for you when the time comes. The reasons why it is safe is because it has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. If another person tried to register a Lasting Power of Attorney without your permission, you would be able to make an objection to the Court of Protection to stop this. You may also choose someone to provide you with a Certificate which demonstrates that they understand how important the role is. As another safeguard, you can also plan for certain people to be told about your Lasting Power of Attorney when the time comes for it to be registered. Again, these people should be trusted so that if they do not feel that registering the Lasting Power of Attorney now is appropriate they can raise their concerns with the Office of the Public Guardian. Finally and most importantly, your attorneys must follow the Code of Practice in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. If the attorney does not act in your best interests then the Office of the Public Guardian can step in and assess the decisions. The attorney can be held accountable for their actions. We will come on to safeguarding further on in this guide.
To make a Lasting Power of Attorney, the correct forms need to be completed by hand or online and sent off. The forms need to contain lots of details about the attorney that you have chosen, need to be signed and also witnessed.
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How Do I Update My Will
You should review your will every five years and after any major change in your life such as a new grandchild or moving house. Never make alterations on the original document.
If you are making a minor amendment to your will, you can add a supplement, known as a codicil. This must be signed and witnessed in the same way as the will, although the witnesses dont have to be the same as the original ones.
If anything substantial needs to be changed, you should make a new will and cancel your old one.
Pick And Choose Your Priorities And Let The Rest Go
Some people have said that dementia picks and chooses its own battles. However, others have shared that initially, they tried to “do everything right,” but as time went on, they learned that letting go of some of these pressures and expectations saved their own sanity and reduced their frustration.
Instead of focusing on meeting your own expectations and that of those around you, change your focus to what’s important at the moment. You will rarely go wrong if you ask yourself if the momentary challenge will be important in a month from now, or not, and proceed accordingly.
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When To Register Your Lasting Power Of Attorney
There is no set timescale in which your Lasting Power of Attorney needs to be registered. However, the sooner that it is registered, the sooner it can be used by your choice of attorney when necessary. It must be stressed that the Attorney cannot use the Lasting Power of Attorney until it is registered. The attorneys contact details will need to be kept up to date and so if those details change before the power is registered, these details will need to be amended.
To register the Lasting Power of Attorney the person making the application must inform any person mentioned in the document of their intention to register the Lasting Power of Attorney. This is done through a specific form and gives the person 3 weeks to raise any concerns that they might have about registration. The next task would be to complete the additional form to accompany your complete Lasting Power of Attorney form. This form includes the instruction to register the Lasting Power of Attorney enclosed with it. The original or certified copy of these forms needs to be posted to the Office of the Public Guardian.
A Legal Example For The Capacity To Marry
Arguably the most famous case to date on the issue of capacity to marry is Sheffield City Council v E & Anr 2 WLR 953. In this case, Munby J expressed very clearly that :There are many people in our society who may be of limited or borderline capacity but whose lives are immensely enriched by marriage. We must be careful not to set the test of capacity to marry too high, lest it operate as an unfair, unnecessary and indeed discriminatory bar against the mentally disabled..
The recent case, which focused on a persons knowledge of the effect that marriage has on their will, was reported in two parts, Re DMM EWCOP 32 and Re DMM EWCOP 33, and was heard at the Court of Protection sitting in Bristol. The subject of the proceedings, DMM, was an 84-year-old man, who is a retired insurance broker. At the time of the hearing, DMM had been with his partner, SD, for over 25 years, and during this time, they had happily co-habited together but had not married, having both been married before.
In late 2016, they decided to marry, and obtained an assessment of capacity to support this decision, as DMM had received a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease some years previously. However, DMMs three daughters from his previous marriage did not think that their father had mental capacity to make the decision to marry, and obtained an order in the Family Division of the High Court preventing this marriage from going ahead.
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What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Dementia
Those that follow a healthier lifestyle have been shown to have a lower risk of dementia. Doing what you can to protect your heart, as well as staying active, can be beneficial. Therefore, it’s best to aim to:
- eat a varied diet containing lots of fruit and vegetables
- eat less salty and fatty foods, especially those high in saturated fat
- drink alcohol in moderation
- enjoy an active life with plenty of outside interests
- ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol
- keep your blood glucose well controlled if you have diabetes.
What Is Guardianship Order
Such orders appoint an individual as Guardian and provide them with powers to deal with such matters as necessary relating to property, financial affairs or personal welfare of an adult as may be specifically outlined within the order.
An application for a Guardianship Order may be made by any person claiming an interest in the property, financial or personal affairs of an adult. The order will be likely be granted where the Court is satisfied that the adult is:
- incapable of making decisions about the safeguarding and promoting their interests in property, financial affairs or personal welfare
- Likely to continue to be incapable of doing so
- And there are no other means sufficient to enable the adult’s interests in property, financial affairs or personal welfare to be safeguarded or promoted.
As part of a Guardianship Order application, where the incapacitated person is involved in a separation or divorce, the Guardianship Order application can include a request for specific powers to be granted including the power to pursue or defend an action of declarator of nullity of marriage, or of divorce or separation in the name of the adult.
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