How Does Having Dementia Impact Decision Making?

Author:
Melanie Varey
Head of Court of Protection
Date:
10/09/2020

It’s World Alzheimer's Month in September, so we wanted to look at how having Alzheimer's or any form of dementia can affect someone’s ability to make important decisions about their lives and how you can deal with this as a family member or loved one.

There’s no doubt that there are big challenges that come along with a dementia diagnosis. Not only do practical things like getting dressed, cooking and all the day to day stuff become much more of a challenge, but living with dementia will affect relationships with other people.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Something your loved one may need to think about is putting legal protections in place, such as a Lasting Power of Attorney that will enable you to make decisions about finances, care or where someone lives on your loved ones behalf should they lose the ability to make those decisions themselves.

Deputyships

If the illness progresses quickly or if your loved one is no longer able to make decisions themselves, we can help you to get Deputyships set up for both Health and Welfare and Property and Finances. This will allow you, once appointed as their Deputy, to make decisions on their behalf.

This is a big responsibility though and you will need to back up the decisions you make to the Court of Protection if asked and report annually on the financial decisions you make.

How We Can Help With Disputes

Even if you have taken advice and have a Lasting Power of Attorney or Deputyship for your loved one already in place, there can be times where the person with dementia is not happy with a situation in their life and you may need help understanding your role or the role of the Court of Protection in these circumstances.  There may also be a decision to be made about your loved one that is not covered by your Lasting Power of Attorney or Deputyship order.

If there is disagreement between professionals, doctors, social workers or family members about whether a person can make decisions themselves or what is in their best interests then we can help.

Our Court of Protection Solicitors regularly help and support people with dementia to have a say in key areas in their life. They can help with:

  • Giving you or your loved one legal advice if they’re not happy with where they’re living
  • Supporting you or your family member if there are problems with the care they’re receiving
  • Getting contact arranged with people if this is being limited or prevented

If you have a loved one or family member with dementia and you’re struggling with understanding how they can make decisions themselves or they are being stopped from making decisions, get in touch with a Court of Protection Solicitor who can help you and give you advice on your next steps.

For free legal advice call our Court of Protection Solicitors

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