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Dementia - living and dying well
Article date: 08/03/2017
Dealing effectively with the growing number of people affected by dementia remains a Government objective. Prime Minister Theresa May has expressed her commitment to the 2020 challenge of promoting an improvement in how dementia is diagnosed and the way in which care is delivered.
Following a conference by Policy-UK Dementia Care in England, a specialist lawyer at Midlands' firm Higgs & Sons said living well and dying well are the two key areas of which everyone can take control.
Annabel Kay said: "Although it can be at a sensitive time, dealing with issues like wills and powers of attorney after a diagnosis of dementia can go a long way to allaying fears about who might look after things in the future.
"The ability to make advanced directives means that a person can say in advance how they would want the end of their life to be managed."
The Alzheimer's' Society promotes the concepts of preventing, diagnosing, supporting, living and dying well. They say that there is evidence to suggest preventing dementia through life style factors is having some effect, but numbers remain consistent due to our ageing population.
Individual pockets of England are working hard to improve support but there is no national agenda for a joined up approach.
According to the Carers Trust, a Top 10 of concerns commonly flagged by people with dementia are fears about who will make their decisions at No.3 and what happens at the end of their life at No.10.
Annabel added: "Knowing that adult safeguarding is now on a statutory footing, should provide some comfort, should the worse happen and there be allegations of control and abuse of a vulnerable person.
"At Higgs, we can help individuals and families to prepare advanced directives. We can also provide specialist advice or training for those people engaged as acting as carers for people with dementia, be they family or professionals, namely around care home fees and access to continuing health care and deprivation of liberty."
Higgs & Sons boasts more than 100 specialist lawyers including those with particular expertise and experience in the charity and not for profit sector and care and capacity matters.