The greatest fear now for the over 55s, is no longer cancer but the prospect of losing their mind. It appears that one in four of the general population is more concerned about developing dementia than any other condition.
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051.
225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes.
Up until his death best-selling author Terry Pratchett, a victim of early-onset Alzheimer’s, was a patron of the Alzheimer’s trust. He said: ‘I’d like a chance to die like my father did – of cancer, at 86. Remember, I’m speaking as a man with Alzheimer’s, which strips away your living self a bit at a time.’
Amazingly, before he went to spend his last two weeks in a hospice he was bustling around the house, fixing things. He continued communicating with others right up to his last few days, knowing who they were, and who he was.
For many other dementia victims it’s a different story as they lose the ability to make any rational decisions for themselves. When this occurs a family can find a great many more problems descend upon them, especially if there are no LPAs in place.
If looking after the daily needs of a dementia sufferer were not difficult enough, the family would also face a financial nightmare caused by frozen assets and bank accounts. To try and ‘undo’ this situation they will have to apply to the Court of Protection (CoP).
A CoP application is not cheap, but where will the money come from to fund the application, when even joint bank accounts and savings are frozen? Typically it is sons and daughters who come to the rescue; which only adds to the families stress levels.
When incapacity strikes, LPAs can prevent more problems, save more money and resolve more issues than just about any other solution available to the family. After all, if you are caring for a loved one with any form of incapacity the last you need is the extra stress of dealing with solicitors and a Court application!