‘Dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss, difficulties thinking, problem-solving, communicating and often changes in mood, perception or behaviour, caused by diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes.
Despite being one of the UK’s greatest health challenges, dementia is still misunderstood, which is why I am proud that Beswicks Legal is a dementia-friendly organisation with trained staff who understand the needs of those living with the disease, their carers and families.
14-20 May is the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Awareness Week when people are asked to unite against dementia. The charity is calling on people to come together to raise awareness and understanding of the condition.
The five things that the Alzheimer’s Society wants people to remember are:
1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing.
2. It is caused by diseases of the brain.
3. It’s not just about losing your memory. Dementia can affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave.
4. People can still live well with dementia.
Many people with dementia reach a point when they are unable to make decisions about their care and finances, requiring their carer or a family member to make decisions on their behalf.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that allows another person to make decisions about your property and finances, health and welfare. Planning your LPA in advance allows you to make choices about your future care in case there is a time when you can’t make those decisions for yourself.
Other ways to plan ahead include putting your finances in order and making a will, or updating a will that you already have.