We are?pleased to be supporting broadcaster Sally Magnusson in the launch of her new book, ?Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything?. The book discusses her mother?s struggle with the illness and her family?s experience and gives a very personal insight into the effects of dementia on Sally?s family. Alzheimer Scotland have organised a ?panel of experts for an open debate and panel discussion, chaired by Sally, to further explore the areas and challenges raised in the book, supported by TC Young.
How would you manage if you find yourself in a situation similar to Sally?s?
How does the law apply??If you or a family member were to be diagnosed with dementia, it is likely this would affect their legal capacity to act on their own behalf.
If an adult loses capacity, nobody has authority to act on their behalf unless they have been legally appointed to do so. Many people do not realise that they would not be legally entitled to deal with matters on behalf of a parent or spouse in such situations. This can result in a variety of practical problems at what is already a difficult time.
What legal options do I have?
If you are currently able to act and make decisions on your own behalf, you can put in place a Power of Attorney. This is a legal document which gives another person authority to act and make decisions on your behalf. Granting a Power of Attorney is a simple process and can give you peace of mind that your affairs will be dealt with by someone you trust should you lose capacity at some point in the future, whether as a result of dementia or for another reason. Sally?s mother had granted a Power of Attorney before losing capacity herself, undoubtedly saving her family further stress.
If your family member or friend has already lost capacity to grant a Power of Attorney, it is possible to apply to the court for Guardianship. This is a court order which appoints another person to act on an adult?s behalf in relation to financial and/or welfare matters. The process can be complex and lengthy, but we have significant experience in dealing with Guardianship applications.
If you are concerned about loss of legal capacity or would like to discuss your options further, please get in touch.