Covid-19 and dementia: supporting a loved one by managing their affairs
With dementia sufferers deteriorating further without family visits during COVID-19, we give advice on what you can do to help a loved one when it comes to decision-making.
Living with dementia at any time brings challenges and the Coronavirus situation has made life for some so much harder. With research suggesting that loneliness increases the risk of dementia, this pandemic and its restrictions, is having one of the biggest knock-on effects on those who are already suffering, or are yet to be diagnosed.
In March and April 2020, 1 in 4 people who died after contracting COVID-19, also suffered from dementia – the most common pre-existing condition associated with Coronavirus deaths. This was according to the ONS.
The Alzheimer’s Society has also warned that almost a third (32%) with dementia are ‘giving up’, following the prolonged isolation.
This unprecedented rise in mental health problems means that more and more carers are struggling.
So, if you have a family member or a friend who is struggling to manage their day-to-day finances or making decisions about their health or welfare, what should you do?
While a person still has the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, the best solution to take away the worry, should you need to step in to manage their affairs, is to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney
As a loved one’s dementia progresses, you may find that they need help with decision-making. By setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in advance, this provides reassurance to both of you – that the person who lives with dementia will have someone they trust as an attorney to take control of the affairs if necessary.
Lasting Power of Attorney helps families keep control if illness or accident strikes
We wrote recently about the two different types of LPA and how to go about setting one up during Coronavirus here. But, what if a person has lost the mental capacity to make decision for themselves and do not have an LPA in place?
No LPA in place – what then?
In the event of a loved one losing capacity, you can still make decisions on their behalf – by applying to become their Deputy via the Court of Protection.
The Court of Protection will appoint at least one individuals to act in the person’s ‘best interests’ as a Deputy. This can be to either cover a person’s property and financial affairs or health and welfare, or both.
You can find out how to make an application for Deputyship here in our blog.
We are Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection Specialists
At Osborne Morris & Morgan solicitors, we know, when closely supporting our clients, that looking after someone else’s finances, estate and health can be overwhelming enough without having to deal with these difficult times as well.
If you are in the situation where you are helping a loved one to manage their affairs due to the impacts of Coronavirus or another situation, please call our specialist teams today on 01525 378177 or via online.
Other organisations who offer support
The local authority of the person you care for might be able to help you care more effectively. You can find their details on the Gov.uk website. Here are some other organisations who can also help: