Despite a rise in the number of men and women being diagnosed with dementia, the overwhelming majority of British adults have not made preparations for the possibility they lose mental capacity.
Alzheimer’s and associated conditions are becoming more common as the average life expectancy increases.
Developing the condition can pose serious challenges for families who have to make key decisions about care arrangements and a person’s financial affairs.
While a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows individuals to appoint a person or people they trust to take decisions – in the event they are no longer able to do so – a survey carried out last month suggests that 95 per cent of adults haven’t made any plans for the event of a dementia diagnosis.
The survey was carried out as part of Dementia Awareness Week – a nationwide campaign - and led to renewed calls for people to consider making an LPA.
It is believed that while dementia increasingly preys on the minds of the general public – seven in ten adult confess to being anxious about developing the condition in later life – there is often the misconception that an LPA can be made even after someone has started to lose their faculties, or that the power to manage affairs will automatically pass to close relatives.
In fact, if there is no LPA in place, loved ones will have to seek to be appointed as Deputies – which can prove time consuming and involves far greater oversight from the authorities.