“The incapacity crisis: a nation unprepared”

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Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) launch a campaign this week which aims to raise awareness of health and welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s).

SFE have built a report with think-tank Centre for Future Studies (CFS) which highlights the issues surrounding the lack of planning for mental incapacity and, backed by the evidence, demonstrates a looming incapacity crisis. Incapacity is on the rise – due to people living longer and the prevalence of conditions like dementia. The report shows that we are a nation unprepared – too few of us have planned ahead to make sure our wishes are followed should we be unable to make our own decisions. Together, these two factors are causing a looming ‘incapacity crisis’ in Britain.

Key statistics

  • Over a third (36%) of people have not made any provisions for later life, including saving for retirement, putting into a pension, writing a will or creating an LPA
  • 97% of people are leaving health and welfare decisions to chance
  • 70% of those polled would like a family member to make medical and care decisions on their behalf, in the event of mental capacity – in reality this won’t happen without an LPA
  • 79% of people haven’t discussed their medical or care wishes with loved ones; of those, 27% haven’t even thought about their wishes
    Over half (58%) of Brits incorrectly believe that the NHS organ donor register carries all the information needed to ensure organs are donated

The message is to be prepared – don’t leave important personal and subjective decisions about your health, care in the hands of strangers.

The only way to avoid this is to think about what you’d want if you were to lose capacity, speak to loved ones about it, and get a Health & Welfare LPA in place.

It is essential that you choose an expert to ensure that your LPA is robust and covers all the things you need it to, seek expert advice from an SFE lawyer.

Tom Morrish is a full Professional Member of Solicitors for the Elderly and Regional Co-ordinator for the Yorkshire Region.

View the full report.

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