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Dementia is a disease of the brain that causes memory loss, personality change and impairs a person’s mental agility, understanding and judgement. It is most common in people aged over 65, however the number of people aged less than 65 being diagnosed with Dementia is increasing. There is currently no cure for dementia and it is estimated there are 800,000 people in the UK suffering from the condition. This figure is unfortunately continuing to rise and it is predicted that there will be one million people with dementia in the UK by 2021.

Dementia causes hallucinations, confusion, and depression and can completely change a person’s life. This can be a very distressing and difficult time for dementia sufferers and their families.

Following Alzheimer’s awareness month, we want to raise awareness of the steps you can take now to plan for if you should be diagnosed with dementia. Whilst there is no cure for the condition, there are actions that can be taken to ease the difficulties that dementia can bring.

Many dementia sufferers will eventually reach a stage where they lose mental capacity and can no longer make decisions for themselves. This can lead to many problems in the continuation of their day to day lives. Losing mental capacity can result in the sufferer being unable to manage their property and financial affairs, such as paying their bills, taking care of their money and managing their property correctly. It is common that sufferers get into financial difficulty and need assistance from friends or family members, however without legal authority, friends and family cannot step in to help them.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises a person to assist in the affairs of another. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare Decisions. When setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney you can appoint friends or loved ones to act as your attorneys and make decisions for you should you ever lose mental capacity.

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs will allow your chosen attorney’s to help you manage your finances before you lose mental capacity and it will allow them to continue managing your property and financial affairs should you lose capacity. A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare decisions will allow your attorneys to make decisions regarding your medical treatment and general health and welfare when you no longer have the capacity to make those decisions yourself.

Lasting Powers of Attorney can help ease the stressful circumstances caused by conditions such as dementia. Taking such measures now can provide peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be able to manage your affairs if you ever lose mental capacity.
Dementia can happen to anybody and help and support is vital for sufferers. Don’t let Dementia win.

Lasting Powers of Attorney need to be set up whilst you are still able to do so, so it is important to take steps now to safeguard your future.

To enquire about setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney or for more information contact our specialist private client solicitors who will be happy to assist you. Based in Wolverhampton the team can be contacted by telephone on 01902 577732 or by email at Home visits are available.

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