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How the law can help as dementia crisis looms

How the law can help as dementia crisis looms

The Government has launched a new interactive online map to enable people to see the quality of care provided for dementia sufferers in their area.

There are 670,000 people in England who suffer with dementia, and the number is likely to double over the next 30 years. A further 21 million people have a close friend or family member who suffers from dementia related illnesses.

The online map will enable people to enter their postcode to find local information such as the rates of diagnosis, how often anti-psychotic drugs are prescribed and referral rates for further investigation.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: “As life expectancy goes up, our generation has a unique challenge: will those extra years at the end of our lives be ones we can look forward to with anticipation – or will they be ones we end up dreading?

“One in three of us will get dementia. And if we don’t do better, for one in three those later years could be years of agony, heartbreak and despair – not just for those of us with the condition, but for our families, friends and loved ones too.”

While the government is working towards improving care for dementia patients, many people are taking legal steps to protect their interests in case they suffer from illness later in life.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) enable you to nominate someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you ever lose the ability to do so yourself due to illnesses such as dementia.

The property and finance LPA allows you to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs, and the personal welfare LPA lets you grant an attorney authority over such matters as health care and the kind of treatment you receive.

LPAs should be drawn up with the help of a solicitor to ensure that they accurately express your wishes and protect your interests.

Please contact us if you would like more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney.