Most of us think about getting older and worry about how we will cope physically, but it is not so easy to think about the possibility of incapacity.
While someone retains capacity, they can set up Powers of Attorney, draw up Advance Decisions, or perhaps just communicate their thoughts and wishes to loved ones. What happens, though, when incapacity is sudden or unexpected? If someone is involved in a car accident or suffers a sudden stroke, how will they manage? Once the dust has settled and it becomes clear that the individual is not in a position to make decisions for themselves, then there are many more questions to be asked. How are bank accounts to be operated? What care and support is available and who is paying for it?
John Hannah’s marvellous rendition of WH Auden’s “Funeral Blues” in Four Weddings and a Funeral applies just as much to severe mental incapacity as death. Bills still need to be paid, decisions made – life does not stop for long.
With all things in life, preparation is key and if we can consider the possibilities that may lie ahead and have the #BigConversation with family and friends, it can be made just that little bit easier.
If you or a relative need advice regarding mental capacity and best interest decisions please contact a member of our Mental Capacity and Welfare team.