Living with Dementia

As Charity of the Year for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK have joined forces for a year-long campaign to fund ground-breaking dementia research. Termed the ‘Dementia Revolution’, last Sunday’s marathon saw celebrities, such as the husband of EastEnders star Dame Barbara Windsor, running to raise awareness of all forms of dementia and to deal with some of the stigma associated with the disease.

850,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in the UK. Dementia is the biggest health threat facing society today and there are currently no effective treatments to slow, prevent or cure it. Sadly, one in three of us will be affected by dementia in some way.

Dementia does not discriminate. It can affect anyone regardless of background, education, lifestyle or status.

The majority of people with dementia are over 65 and, of course, the likelihood of dementia increases with age but it is not a given that only older people develop it. In the UK over 40,000 of people under the age of 65 have dementia.

Dementia is not just about memory loss. It affects people in a wide variety of ways; changes in behaviour, confusion, disorientation. Everyone’s experience is different.

There is no doubt, however, that for anybody, whatever your age or symptoms, a diagnosis of dementia is devastating. If in addition, there is nothing in place to mean that families can help and support both with finances and day to day care, the future will feel all the more bleak, confusing and daunting.

It is important to remember that with help and support in place, it is possible to live an independent and active life with dementia.

Making a lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a really important step in making sure that you can receive all the help and support that you need at such a difficult time in your life.

The earlier you make an LPA the better but just because you have had a diagnosis of dementia this does not mean that you cannot make one. It is not necessarily too late. You may well still be capable of making decisions.

Thinking of a time when you may be unable to manage your finances or you might not be able anymore to recall important events or people may seem unimaginable. It may of course never happen to you but being prepared will make life easier for you and your family.

For specialist advice relating to mental capacity, lasting powers or attorney and court of protection applications contact any member of the Gardner Croft private client team.