Warner Goodman support World Alzheimer’s Day
Launched in 2012, September is World Alzheimer’s Month with World Alzheimer’s Day falling on the 21st of the month. Each year sees a different theme to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia, with the theme this year of “Remember Me”, to highlight the importance of early detection and diagnosis of dementia. Sue Nicholson, Private Client Solicitor, explains here why raising this awareness is so vital and how families can prepare now for any future diagnosis of the disease.
Alzheimer’s: The Facts around the world
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, which effects not only memory but also thinking, behaviour, language and emotions. There is currently no cure for dementia, with charities such as The Alzheimer’s Society working tirelessly to raise funds to combat the disease. “We took part in Cupcake Day in June with donations going towards the charity and their research,” begins Sue.
“The numbers really are staggering when seeing how many people live with dementia, and having an Awareness Month, which encompasses an Awareness Day, shows how much of a concern this disease is to the world as a whole. It unites not only people with dementia and their families, but also their carers, medical professionals, researchers and the media, highlighting the impact the disease has on us as a society but in the end what impact it may have on our health services and our economy.”
There are currently 46 million people worldwide living with dementia, which is expected to rise to over 131 million by 2050. “Researchers from University College London stated in July that by 2040 there will be 1.2 million people living with dementia in England and Wales, so it is crucial that people know how they can prepare financially and emotionally should this happen to them or a loved one,” explains Sue.
How to prepare for Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is devastating for a family for so many reasons, one of them being the lack of control they have over their loved ones welfare and finances. “It’s important that people talk about dementia, the impact it has on people’s lives and how families can prepare in order for this to become a more well known topic in our society and people can be ready,” continues Sue. “One of the most effective ways of securing your future for any eventuality is to have a Lasting Power of Attorney, which allows you to appoint people you trust to manage your affairs when you are no longer able to. There are two different types of LPA; one for health & welfare, and one for Property & Financial Affairs.”
A Health and Welfare LPA allows your appointed attorney(s) to make decisions about your day to day actions such as:
- Where you live
- Dietary needs
- Medical care, ie whether to consent or refuse medical examinations and treatments
- Life sustaining treatment
- Care home arrangements
A Property and Financial LPA allows your attorney(s) to make decisions about your assets, including:
- Managing your money in your bank/building society
- Collecting benefits or pension
- Paying the mortgage and any other bills
- Insure, maintain or sell your property
“The main difference between the two LPAs, other than the criteria, is that a Health and Welfare LPA can only be used when you have lost mental capacity and so you are not able to make your own decisions, whereas a Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be used as soon as it’s registered if you wish,” concludes Sue. “There are many factors that must be considered when drawing up an LPA, and coming to a solicitor is the only way to ensure that all options have been considered, the relevant people will be notified and that the LPA is valid. Unfortunately we regularly see families who have not set up a LPA, or have done so incorrectly without the appropriate safeguards, and it is too late. They then have to go through an emotional and drawn out process with the Court of Protection, which could have so easily been avoided.”
If you would like to find out more about a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can contact Sue or the Private Client team on 01329 222075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.