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Dementia Action Week

21st May 2018

This week is Dementia Action Week and is a good time to reflect on the condition and what can be done to make the future management of your affairs easier for you and your family.

Dementia is a term for a number of symptoms which may include memory loss, difficulties with planning, language and sometimes changes in behaviour.  It is estimated that around 850,000 people in the UK are living with Dementia and whilst the majority of those are over 65 years old it is estimated around 42,000 people under that age are living with a diagnosis of Dementia*.

Receiving a diagnosis is very difficult for most people and discussing it even more so, but there are a number of important steps to ensure life is as easy for you and your loved ones as it can be.

 

1)       Financial Management

Direct Debits if not already in place should be thought about as they will simplify the ongoing payment of essential bills.  You should also ensure that all important papers such as mortgage accounts, pension, life assurance policies and bank accounts are together and accessible.

 

2)       Benefits

Many different benefits are available and benefits such as attendance allowance, disability living allowance, personal independence payments and carer’s allowance are all potentially available to either you or your family.  If you wish for someone else to receive and manage your benefits for you then you can nominate them as your ‘appointee’ with the Department for Work and Pensions.  The DWP will want to ensure your interests are being looked after and will check this before proceeding.

 

3)       Future Planning

Wills allow you to choose who will deal with your affairs after your death and who will inherit.  If you are living with dementia you can still make a will as long as you have the necessary understanding.  To reduce disputes about your wishes it is best to see a solicitor to have your will prepared.

Pensions and Life Assurance Policies usually allow you to nominate recipients of the fund in the event of death.

Trusts can be used to allow property or savings to be managed in the way you want both now and in the future.

Lasting Powers of Attorney allow you to appoint people you trust to manage your affairs.  This can be financial affairs and decisions about your property and care decisions surrounding welfare, health and end of life treatment decisions.  Discussing this with a solicitor will ensure that your wishes can be put into effect and any restrictions and safeguards adequately incorporated into the document.

Advance Decisions previously known as ‘living wills’ allow you to make specific health treatment such as do not resuscitate decisions.

 

All planning can only be done while you still have capacity and so the sooner you can the better.  For further advice please get in touch with us.

To get involved with, and provide support for, the Dementia Action Week campaign please visit: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-action-week 

 

*Figures provided by the Alzheimer’s Society

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