How can you help someone with dementia?
As we reach the end of Dementia Action Week 2019 it is important to remember that every 3 seconds someone is diagnosed with dementia and there are now 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.
Alzheimer’s Society’s research shows that many people are worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ to people living with dementia. And despite almost all of us knowing someone affected, two-thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely, a heartbreaking statistic when a quick cup of tea and a conversation can be so easy for all of us, even when we're busy.
Alzheimer’s Society’s research shows that many people are worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ to people living with dementia. And despite almost all of us knowing someone affected, two-thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely.
That’s why this Dementia Action Week is so vital - to encourage everyone to take action by starting a conversation with someone living with dementia they know; whether it’s calling a relative with dementia or visiting a neighbour, it’s time to start talking.
Whilst the impacts of dementia can be difficult, there are steps that can be taken to help make life easier:
- Placing a chain on the front door with a note behind the door to remind the home owner not to open the door to anyone unknown or without an appointment. With 15% of dementia patients falling victim to scams, this step is particularly vital.
- Setting up a call blocker or call divert on the phone to divert unknown numbers to help prevent scams. This also applies to signing up to mail preference services to reduce junk mail.
- Keeping a diary or notebook to list key dates and items to remember.
- Storing key items, such as keys and money, in the same place.
- Putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. These legal documents allow you to appoint someone you trust to manage your affairs if you become mentally or physical incapable of doing so.
- Protection against care fees. Whilst the aim is for the dementia sufferer to remain at home and in control for as long as possible they may eventually does need to go into care. The costs average around £600 a week for a care home and over £800 a week to live in a nursing home. Local Authorities will only assist when assets fall under £23,250, which can take into account property. There are steps that can be taken to protect assets for us long as possible, such as taking out certain investments or placing assets into trust.
- Drawing up a Will. A person with dementia can still make a Will as long as they still understand the contents and impact. Putting a Will in place ensures that their affairs are in order and enables them to choose whom they would like to benefit from their estate.#
If you would like to know more about how to manage the legal affairs of someone with dementia, including putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney or Wills, please telephone our Private Client Department on 01245 228127.