Dementia is the biggest health and social challenge of our time, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. They estimate that there are currently around 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK.

The thought of being diagnosed with dementia may be daunting. However, 91% of those affected by the disease believe it’s better to know. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Society is asking us to act on dementia.

The importance of acting on early signs

An early diagnosis can allow a person to stay well for longer. Medication may help to control some symptoms and an awareness of the condition allows the person with dementia, and family and friends around them, to seek support, make adjustments and access services that will improve their quality of life.

An opportunity to take control of the things that matter

An early diagnosis of dementia also provides an opportunity to take control of the things that matter. Provided the person still has mental capacity, they can set up or revise a Will, making sure that loved ones are provided for in the future. 

If not already in place, this is also the time to set up Lasting Power of Attorney documents. Specific instructions and wishes relating to issues such as future care can be detailed within these documents and a trusted person appointed to ensure that these are carried out. Knowing that this trusted person will always act in their best interest can provide huge reassurance.

When a diagnosis is delayed

When seeking a diagnosis is delayed, a GP may deem a person to have already lost the capacity to make important decisions. If Lasting Powers of Attorney documents are not in place, a loved one will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order to allow them to make important decisions on their behalf.

The process can be complex and quite daunting, especially as, in these circumstances, the responsibility of looking after a loved one may already be challenging. 

Anthony Collins’ recently expanded team are here to help 

Our recently expanded team of personal planning and management solicitors offer Will drafting services and advice on setting up trusts. We can act as a certificate provider on Lasting Power of Attorney documents and, if capacity is already lost, can provide invaluable advice and guidance on setting up a deputyship order. By assisting with preparing and submitting all the required forms, we will ensure that the process is dealt with as efficiently and as stress-free as possible. Assistance with urgent and emergency applications, help with applications for Statutory Wills and professional deputy services can also be provided.

Always friendly and approachable, our specialist team includes STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) qualified solicitors who ensure that the elderly or vulnerable are cared for and supported.

Seek help for early signs of dementia:

  • a change in short-term memory – problems recalling things, losing items and repeating oneself
  • poor concentration levels, difficulty planning and organising
  • personality or mood changes
  • not being able to perform everyday tasks
  • problems with language

The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK have invaluable information for those affected by dementia.