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Willans supports Dementia Action Week 2019

10 May 2019

Willans is proud to help promote Dementia Action Week (formerly Dementia Awareness Week), which runs from 20-26 May this year.

This national campaign week is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, which reports that:

  • there are over 850,000 people in the UK with dementia and that number is predicted to rise to over 1 million by 2025
  • in 2018, around 225,000 people will develop dementia – that is one every three minutes
  • 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia
  • 70 per cent of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems
  • there are over 40,000 people aged under 65 with dementia in the UK
  • more than 25,000 people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the UK are affected by dementia.

Everybody starts to become more forgetful as they grow older. However, dementia is different. It is a brain disease which affects daily life and is progressive. It is not a natural part of ageing. Dementia often starts with memory problems, but can go on to affect other parts of the brain causing:

  • difficulty coping with everyday tasks
  • difficulty in communicating
  • changes in mood, judgment or personality.

Head of our wills, trusts and probate team Simon Cook explains: “There may come a time when a person suffering from dementia is no longer able to manage their affairs. This can cause enormous problems and costs for the family if planning for this eventuality has not taken place. It would mean an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a deputy to look after the person’s affairs. This is a lengthy process and is costly. There will then be an ongoing involvement with the Court of Protection; annual accounts may have to be lodged and anytime a decision of substance (eg the sale of a house) has to be made a court’s consent will be required.

“It is possible, as long as a person has capacity, to make a lasting power of attorney appointing a family member or trusted friend to step in and make financial and medical decisions if the time comes when that person is unable to do so themselves. In the long term this is much easier for the family to manage than having a deputy in place.”

Simon, who is also a Dementia Friend, adds: “You are never too young to set up a lasting power of attorney – you simply do not know what the future is going to bring.”

Contact our wills, trusts and probate department on 01242 514000 if you would like help or have any questions. You can also pop in to our Winchcombe coffee morning and ask us any questions about lasting powers of attorney and planning for the future. This event runs from 10am – 1pm on Wednesday 22 May at the RT Financial Planners office, Mercia House on Winchcombe’s High Street. It is free to attend and there is no need to book.

You can learn more about Dementia Action Week here. Join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #DAW2019.

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Simon Cook LLB (Hons), TEP
Partner
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Simon Cook
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