Gumersalls News

Gumersalls News

Getting Dementia Diagnosis Helps Prepare For Future

by | May 14, 2022 | News | 0 comments

Nine out of ten people affected by dementia believe that having a diagnosis, as hard as it would be, has many benefits, including being able to sort out lasting power of attorney (LPA) before it is too late.

According to Alzheimer’s UK, 91 per cent think there is at least one advantage to being told about their condition, with 49 per cent saying it allowed them to plan for their future.

Having an LPA allows a sufferer to appoint someone to make decisions for you once you lack the ‘mental capacity’ to do so for yourself. They can decide what you do about your property and assets or about your care and treatment, or they can have the authority to make both types of decisions.

Being able to choose who you want to make these decisions is very important to most people, and a late diagnosis often robs them of that choice, as they then do not have the mental capacity to establish an LPA.

However, the organisation has revealed there are around 30,000 people in the UK living with dementia who do not have a diagnosis, as a result of delays caused by the pandemic.

Therefore, Alzheimer’s UK wants people to seek help for concerns they have about their cognitive faculties or memory loss as soon as possible, as part of Dementia Action Week (May 16th to 22nd).

“We are highlighting that memory loss is not a normal part of ageing and are launching resources, informed by advice from leading clinicians, to arm people with all the information they need when speaking with their GP,” a spokesperson for the charity stated.

According to the organisation, there are currently 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with a further 209,600 expected to develop the condition this year, at a rate of one person every three minutes.

While 70 per cent of those in care homes have severe memory problems or dementia, it is not just a condition for the elderly, and 42,000 people under the age of 65 currently live with it in the UK.

It is expected there will be 1.6 million people with dementia in Britain by 2040, while this figure will soar to 152.8 million globally by 2050.

Among the common symptoms are memory loss, struggling to find the right word, being unable to judge distances, struggling to make decisions, losing track of time, repeating phrases, not being able to sleep, getting lost, feeling sad or hopeless, withdrawing, acting out of character, feeling restless and putting objects in unusual places.

A daughter of dementia sufferer recounts how getting an LPA is important, after it took eight years to get a diagnosis for her mother, Teresa.

“We realised late that we would need lasting power of attorney, and mum no longer has the capacity to consent,” she stated. “Mum can’t speak anymore and no longer knows who I am.”

If an LPA is not set up before the patient loses mental capacity, a Court of Protection Deputyship needs to be applied for, which entails additional reporting and accounting to the Office of the Public Guardian.

 

For help establishing an LPA or Court of Protection Deputyship, give our will solicitors in Surrey a call today.