Monday 9 March 2015

Dealing with dementia

What do you do with aging relatives? How can you offer them the care that they might need in the future, by making appropriate arrangements today?

I’m not thinking of booking them one-way tickets to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland (yet). But, I am thinking of arranging, while they are still of extremely sound mind, the necessary legal powers to act on their behalf and in their best interests should there come a time when their minds are such that they are no longer able to express their best interests themselves.

To whom can you turn to get a decent briefing on the relevant issues? Thankfully, the Alzheimer’s Society has just published some new guidance 'Accessing and sharing information: acting on behalf of a person with dementia'. It explains, in simple terms, how personal information can be shared in compliance with the DPA to help manage the affairs of a person with dementia.

I like the guidance because it uses the sort of language that my relatives can understand. So, l can leave the booklet with them and then discuss it when they’ve read and thought about these issues.

Evidently, only 22% of people affected by dementia feel that businesses and organisations understand a person's rights around a lasting power of attorney. Even fewer can explain the difference between a lasting, an enduring and an ordinary power of attorney. Or a deputyship.

So, I warmly recommend this booklet to anyone who has, and cares about, their aging relatives.