Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease are now classed as being the biggest cause of death in the UK. As we are an ageing population, this I guess is hardly surprising. 
Putting Lasting Power of Attorney in place will enable a person to plan ahead, should something happen in the future and they are no longer able to make their own decisions, being diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease means that as the condition progresses the likelihood of the person being able to make their own decisions becomes more apparent. 
Should a person no longer be able to make their own decisions, then the Mental Capacity Act 2005 comes in to play, giving support to those that need it, and to provide protection for these vulnerable people. 
So What Does Having Capacity Mean? 
If a person 'Lacks Capacity' it means that the person brain may not work well in being able to interpret and make decisions, this may be a result of the person having an injury, a learning disability, or an illness or condition such as a stroke or dementia. 
Having capacity means that a person is able to hold and retain information that they have been given for a long enough period of time so that they can make a decision based on that information. 
They should be able to understand all the necessary information that relates to any decision that they have made. 
They need to be able to weigh up the information that they have to be able to make what they believe to be the right decision. 
The person then needs to effective communicate their decision, this does not have to be through speech or the written word, they can use sign language, and even muscle movements and eye movements, as even people that are unable to talk or write can still have capacity and effectively make their decisions known through other means. 
A person, especially suffering from Alzheimer's disease or Dementia, it maybe that they have times when they do have capacity and at other times they do not have capacity, as with these conditions, as the condition progresses, capacity can fluctuate. It may be that a person has the capacity to make some kind of decisions but lacks capacity to make other decisions, such as they know what they want to wear, and what they want for their dinner, but they do not understand different options for medical treatment. 
Unless it has been confirmed by a medical professional that a person has lost capacity to make decisions for themselves, it must be assumed that they do still have capacity and that they can make decisions for themselves. 
Having Lasting Power of Attorney in place, keeps you in cotrol, as you are the person that has chosen whom you would like to step into your shoes and act on your behalf if you are ever in he position to be unable to make decisions for yourself. 
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