The lurking crisis of dementia
With dementia on the rise, the risk of losing mental capacity with no lasting power of attorney in place is increasing.
Research carried out by specialist lawyer group, Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), has found that there is an incapacity crisis looming in the UK.
The SFE-commissioned research, which was carried out by the Centre for Future Studies (CFS), focused on the gap between the number of people who are at risk of developing dementia, and the number of people who are planning ahead for this scenario by getting a Health & Welfare lasting power of attorney in place.
Dementia on the rise
Dementia is on the rise, so much so that it has now overtaken heart disease as the nation’s leading cause of death.
CFS’s research found that there are currently 12.8 million people in the UK over the age of 65 who are at risk of developing dementia. However, there are currently only 928,000 registered health and welfare lasting power of attorneys registered across England and Wales.
These figures suggest that almost 12 million people who are at high risk of dementia, and therefore at risk of losing capacity, have not planned ahead to ensure their wishes are carried out.
The main catalyst of this increase is related to life expectancy increasing. A longer life expectancy leads to a higher population, and by 2025 it is estimated there will be one million people in the UK diagnosed with dementia. Fast forward another 25 years to 2050, and this number grows to 2.7 million people in the UK living with dementia.
How can an LPA help?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal arrangement that allows a person to appoint someone close to them to make decisions on their behalf when they are unable to.
This is particularly important when thinking about dementia and capacity. If you or a loved one loses the capacity to make decisions and a Health and Welfare LPA is not in place, it can leave your loved ones in a stressful situation. It could force them to watch decisions being made on your behalf without the legal power to regain control and act on your wishes.
This is a scenario that not many of us are thinking about too. The SFE research showed that over 75% of us have not considered our personal, medical and/or care wishes in the event we lose capacity.
How Percy Hughes & Roberts can help
At Percy Hughes & Roberts Solicitors, we have a team of dedicated LPA solicitors who are ready to help you resolve your query or issue relating to this area of the law as quickly and effectively as possible. We can assist you should you need any advice regarding capacity and making a Health and Welfare LPA.
If you need assistance, more generally, in relation to Lasting Powers of Attorney or Wills and Probate, our wills, trusts and probate solicitors have a wealth of experience. Our specialist solicitors will provide you with all the information and advice you need.
Read the full SFE report here
Contact Percy Hughes & Roberts
To speak to a wills and probate solicitor for advice, contact Percy Hughes & Roberts for a no-obligation phone consultation today. We provide ourselves on offering expert advice that's easy to understand, and we will be with you through every step of the legal process.