A recent study has indicated that as a country, the number of people likely to lose capacity is dramatically more than the number of people who are prepared for such a situation. Figures have demonstrated that in the 11 years between 2005/6 to 2016/17 the number of people diagnosed with dementia increased by more than 50% to 540,000 without even taking into account undiagnosed cases. It is expected that the true figure of those suffering with dementia is more like 850,000 which is likely to exceed £1,000,000 before 2025.
This means that of the 12.8 million people aged over 65 and living in the UK, it is expected that 1 in 14 will develop dementia. Comparing this ratio to the 928,000 Health and Care Decisions Lasting Powers of Attorney that are currently registered, this leaves a gap of nearly 12 million people that are not prepared for a loss of mental capacity. This gap is only expected to widen in the future, with predictions setting a figure of 13.2 million people lacking protection by 2025.
The main issue this presents is that British people are not taking the opportunity to ensure their wishes are followed and that they still have a voice even once they have lost the ability to speak for themselves.
While it is important to discuss end of life care with relatives and loved ones, there is no substitute for setting out your wishes in writing or giving them legal validity. Gepp Solicitors has an experienced team which can offer advice and assist in putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place to provide comfort for the future, whatever it entails.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.