Dementia Awareness in Emmerdale
TV soap Emmerdale has raised awareness of Dementia recently by giving viewers an insight into what it's like living with the condition.
One of Emmerdale's characters, Ashley Thomas, was diagnosed with early onset Vascular Dementia and was the star of a one-off special filmed through Ashley's eyes in December 2016. The storyline has showed what it's like to live with the condition through the eyes of the sufferer - giving viewers a rare insight into the complex condition. The soap's producers worked closely with the Alzheimer's Society to ensure the portrayal of Ashley's illness was as accurate as possible to give viewers a greater understanding of Dementia. It has also been reported that Emmerdale writers are considering writing more episodes from Ashley's perspective.
Dementia affects 1 in 14 people aged 65 and over in the UK and there are currently 40,000 younger people living with early onset dementia. With an ageing population, the condition could affect more and more of us either directly or indirectly.
In a bid to raise awareness further, members of our Wills, Trust & Probate Team have recently become Dementia Friends (with the remainder of the Team, along with our Receptionists, set to become Friends shortly). Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer's Society initiative and invites members of the public to learn a little bit more about what it's like to live with dementia and to then turn that understanding into a practical action such as:
- Getting and staying in touch with someone living with dementia;
- Volunteering to help people with dementia;
- Campaigning for change to improve the lives of people with dementia;
- Carrying out a personal action e.g. being more patient when out in the community.
It is increasingly important to raise awareness of Dementia and also to prepare for our future. One of the ways in which we can do this is to draw up a Lasting Power of Attorney to provide for a time when we may lack the capacity to manage our own affairs. By drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney earlier in life when there is no issue with capacity you can prepare for a time when you may need assistance with making decisions. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney; one for Property and Financial Affairs and one for Health and Welfare. A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to act as an attorney(s) to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so. A recent survey revealed that only 7% of the population have drawn up this document.
In the event that you lose capacity and are unable to deal with your own affairs and do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, a family member would need to make a Deputyship application to the Court of Protection in order to manage your affairs for you. This procedure can be costly and lengthy at an extremely difficult time for you and your family.
More information on Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship can be found on the links below.
For individual advice and assistance contact our Wills, Probate and Trusts Team to find out how we can help.
Lisa Moseley, Chartered Legal Executive, Wills, Trusts and Probate - T: 024 7623 7351 or E: LJM@bandhattonbutton.com