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Capacity, End of Life and Dying Matters

In March 2016, we held our first ‘Capacity and End of Life’ Conference in collaboration with the University of Bristol Centre for Ethics in Medicine. The conference brought together a group of legal, health and social care professionals all of whom touched on issues related to death in their daily working lives.

#Bigconversation – Talking about dying, death and bereavement

Our #BigConversation started in March and continues as we prepare for Dying Matters Awareness Week, 9-15 May, and being ready to discuss issues at the heart of this debate from a legal context. Visit the Dying Matters website

Be sure to follow our Court of Protection and Personal Injury & Medical Negligence Twitter accounts as well as our main company Twitter and LinkedIn and to check out our specialist blogs as we discuss the following themes throughout the week:

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How we can help

We recognise that some of those issues impact families caring for vulnerable and often elderly individuals and in that situation you need to know what you should be concerned about and what support to look out for, particularly in relation to health, welfare and financial decisions.

End of life

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Medical accident

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Capacity

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Catastrophic injury

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Vulnerable adults

Vulnerable adults

Living well and dying with dignity are very much modern preoccupations.  The challenge of longer life is preserving quality of life for longer.  Planning for the inevitable can help to make the end of life less of a minefield with decisions made before capacity is lost but many people only investigate what to do when it is too late.

Forward planning

Potential problems have simple solutions if done in advance:

  • A Will – financial planning
  • Advance Decisions and Statements – health planning
  • Lasting Power of Attorney – health, welfare and financial decisions

Responding to an emergency

However, problems with capacity are not confined to the elderly.  Capacity can be lost at any time through injury, illness affecting the brain or the effects of a brain tumour.  If advance planning is in place through advance decisions and Powers of Attorney this is more straightforward but even if not, help can still be provided.

Our immediate needs assessment and services

Are you a carer, attorney or deputy and are making decisions for someone else?

Do you have a relative who has suddenly lost capacity following accident or injury?

Do you consider that you need assistance with managing your affairs?

If you find that you are in difficulty because you or someone you care for is losing or has lost capacity, it is important to reduce financial difficulties to consider the following:

  • Let utility companies and any creditors know about the situation.
  • Ensure that if business accounts are affected new arrangements are in place with the bank.
  • Claim state benefits and allowances as a DWP appointee if possible.
  • Maintain standing orders on a bank account.
  • Let interested parties know – such as mortgage lenders, employers, credit card companies that there has been a change of circumstances and ask about any ‘payment holidays’ or additional sources of income that may be available to you.
  • If accidental injury has led to loss of capacity our Serious Injury team can assist and advise whether a claim can be pursued.