Dementia Action Week is an awareness campaign to stop the dismissal of dementia symptoms, such as memory loss, as being ‘just part of the ageing process’. This misconception results in fewer people taking these symptoms seriously and seeking timely help.
Dementia is caused by a number of diseases that affect the brain, with the most common type being Alzheimer’s. The various types of dementia can affect the brain in different ways, making a diagnosis incredibly important as the progression of dementia can be unique to each individual.
There is an estimated 850,000 people in the UK living with a form of dementia, with symptoms including; memory loss, confusion and changes in mood and vision.
There is a misconception that the condition is only prevalent in those of an older age, however it can affect people of any age, with at least 42,000 younger people in the UK suffering from dementia.
The symptoms can be incredibly distressing not only for the person experiencing them, but also for their friends and family. It is important to get a diagnosis so steps can be taken to receive support and treatment in order to manage the symptoms and continue a normal and happy life.
There are numerous non-profit organisations and charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society that can provide support to those diagnosed with dementia and those who are helping a person with dementia.
Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball to help us see what the future holds and many of us can be guilty of burying our heads in the sand when it comes to seeking help and planning for the future. We should all make time to consider what should happen to our personal welfare and finances should we lose mental capacity.
You can consider the following as part of your future planning:
- Preparing a Will – so you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death. Without a Will, your assets may be distributed according to ‘the intestacy rules’ rather than your wishes.
- Preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPAs’) – so you can nominate people to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. There are two types, one which covers financial decisions and the other which covers health decisions. You can prepare both types or just one. Without an LPA, if you lose mental capacity to make decisions, an order from the Court of Protection will be required in order to help you which is an expensive and time-consuming process. In addition, you will have no control over who is making decisions for you.
These documents can only be prepared whilst you have mental capacity therefore the sooner you can get them in place the better. At Scott Bailey LLP, our expert solicitors regularly assist clients from across the South Coast region in the preparation and execution of wills and LPAs. Our wills and probate lawyers can also advise you on other future planning options such as lifetime gifting, advance decisions/living wills, and care planning, tailoring the advice to your needs and circumstances.