Category Archives: Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

Coronovirus: Alarming Drop in Mental Capacity

Coronavirus is making life difficult for everyone, but more so for those whose mental capacity is already reduced. Enforced social isolation increases the stresses on everyone and tends to make us feel more anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored as well as lonely and often frustrated. Advisers report an alarming drop in the mental capacity of those who were previously reasonably ok.  

All of these are things which tend to reduce peoples ability to cope with life and to be able to make Lasting Powers of Attorney (which is our mission.) Whether the effects will be wholly lasting or not remains to be seen, but many people will slip beyond the point at which Lasting Powers of Attorney can be set up, leaving an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship as the only remaining route. Bear in mind that only financial Depoutyships are usually granted, leaving Health and Welfare matters in the hands of the Court – and that includes where people live Whether that application is made by the family or by Social Services, it is at the expense of the person suffering reduce mental capacity.

Experience has shown that it is not always easy for people to throw off the yoke of Deputyship even should they fully recover, and when the Deputy is a professional it is likely to be very expensive. Family members may find it difficult to cope with the bureaucratic and record-keeping issues associated with deputyship.

Obviously, everyone over 18 should have Lasting Powers of Attorney (do you?) as misfortune can strike at any time, but here are some tips from the NHS as to how to best keep up your, or a relative, or friends mental capacity:

1) Keep Socially Active

Clearly, that doesn’t mean what it used to. Phone calls, Facebook messages, video calls etc all help. Though the trouble is many older people won’t be up to speed on some of these, so will suffer more.

2) Talk About Your Worries

Very few people are NOT finding the current situation stressful. So talk about your worries and concerns, and encourage the vulnerable to share their worries with you. A worry shared is a worry halved as they say. A little reassurance goes a long way. The Government even has a Chatbot to talk about your worries – why not try it out?
https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=447860064422&text=hi

3. Help and Support Others

Just because you are feeling a bit down doesn’t mean that you can’t join Facebook and other groups and encourage other people. A friendly ear helps others feel it isn’t just them.

4. Finances and Regulations

If finances are a problem, or you are not sure what the recommendations are for social matters, check the Government website for advice. That is what it is there for.

5. Keep Physically Active

The fitter your body is, the more likely your mind is to stay fit too. Resist the urge to be a total couch potato, and get up and walk about. Maybe do some gentle stretches once an hour. Exercise will help you sleep too. Maybe find some gentle exercise videos on Youtube. If you can, do more walking than you would normally, or get on the bike if you are up to it.

6. Do things you enjoy

Reading, listening to music (my favourite), gardening, walking, running.

7) Don’t Listen to Negative Fake News

Go to the Government website o#r the BBC or the NHS for news and suggestions – don’t go to the more sensational newspapers who like to shock you, even if the copy under doesn’t match the sensational headline!

8) Relax

Relaxation techniques can help.

Those are just a few suggestions. if you are feeling really desperate, visit this page?
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/urgent-support/


Contact us to organise Lasting Powers of Attorney before it is too late. 

Focus on Dementia Report: Prevention, Slowing Disease and Precautions

Focus on Dementia Report 2016.

The Focus on Dementia Report says that Alzheimer’s drugs prescriptions are six times higher than a decade ago.

HSCIC reports that the number of prescriptions dispensed in England for approved medicines to treat Alzheimer’s increased from 502,000 in 2004 to 3 million in 2014. The cost to the NHS of prescriptions for Alzheimer’s disease medicines dispensed in primary care stood at £45.7m in 2014. This was up from £42.8m in 2004, but down from the high point it reached in 2011 of £110.8m.

Worse still, the proportion of people who had a diagnosis of dementia in their GP record rose from 643 per 100,000 people in April 2014 to 755 people per 100,000 in December 2015. That is a jump of well over 17%. Ingrid McCleave, Head of Legal at Eastbourne Law Solicitors says “a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimers does not necessarily mean that it is too late to put sound Legal Planning in place.  If it happens to your or a loved one, and they have not taken proper legal precautions, please do call us at the earliest possible moment.” (01323 406299.)

The statistics are published today as part of the Focus On Dementia report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), pulling together in one place for the first time a range of information on dementia including statistics on diagnosis, prescribing, social care, mental health and lifestyle trends. The report also shows:

For those over 65, the highest rate of diagnosis is in the South of England, closely followed by the North. The Midlands is a further 9% or so lower. London has a diagnosis rate almost 40% lower than the South. I haven’t had the time to find out why the figures are so wildly different but for those of you with more time, I do recommend reading the Focus on Dementia report, which was issued in January 2016.

39 percent of carers who looked after someone with dementia spent 100 or more hours each week doing so in 2014/15. Over half (51 percent) of carers had been in this role for more than five years.

Responsible statistician Jonathan Hope said: “Our ageing population means that the way we diagnose, treat and care for people with dementia will be increasingly important to many of

Stephen Pett of Eastbourne Law solicitors added “The report in effect emphasises the urgent requirement for both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney as part peoples Legal Planning is sadly rising.  There can be no excuse for recommending only the Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney and not the Health and Welfare one as well.

That is why we offer significantly reduced fees when clients have both types prepared at the same time. The Court of Protection is not keen to allow others to take Health and Welfare decisions where the person concerned has not made provision.  So Social Services tend to have the upper hand.”

See also ways of reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Office of the Public Guardian

Office of the Public Guardian Lasting Power of Attorney.

The function of the Office of the Public Guardian is to protect people who don’t have the ability to make their own decisions (i.e. lack mental capacity). It maintains the registers of Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney and also of court orders appointing Deputies.

To make a Lasting Power of Attorney with professional help, go here.

What the Office of Public Guardian does.

The Public Guardian is an individual who works with the Office of the Public Guardian. Their job is to protect people who lack the mental capacity to look after themselves. They do this by:

  • registering Enduring Powers of Attorney and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
  • supervising deputies and working with other organisations such as social services (if the person who lacks capacity is receiving social care).
  • instructing Court of Protection visitors to visit people who may lack mental capacity and the people who make decisions on their behalf.
  • reviewing reports from deputies and attorneys acting under a Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • investigating concerns about how attorneys and deputies are acting, including making reports to the Court of Protection.

Asking for information from the Office of the Public Guardians registers.

You can search to see if there is a registered Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney for someone you are concerned about. You can also search to find out if there is a deputy acting on their behalf.

To apply for a search you need to complete the ‘OPG100’ application form. You will need to send your completed form and cheque to:

Office of the Public Guardian.
PO Box 15118
Birmingham
B16 6GX.

You do not have to pay a search fee if you are one of the following:

  • a registered health care professional (such as a doctor or nurse).
  • a representative of a public authority, for example a local authority or the police.

Information you will get from a search of the registers

If you make a search of the registers you will be told things like:

  • if there is a deputy looking after the vulnerable person.
  • If there is an Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney in place, and the date it was made and registered.
  • The case number it has been given.
  • Names of the donor, deputy or attorney.
  • Date of birth of the vulnerable person.
  • Any conditions or restrictions on the Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney or deputy order (but not specific details about them.)
  • The date the Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney was cancelled (if it has been cancelled).
  • The date the deputyship order expired or was cancelled (it has expired or been cancelled.)

Second tier search – if your first search doesn’t meet your needs

If the information you receive following a search does not meet your needs you can make a more detailed search. This is called a ‘second tier search’.

A second tier search will provide more information about the donor or the person who has a deputy acting for them than the first search. To do this you must first write to the Office of the Public Guardian with the following information:

  • the name of the donor/person the order is about.
  • The specific information you need and the reason you need it.
  • Why you have been unable to get the information from the person themselves.

You can write to the Office of the Public Guardian at this address:

Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 15118
Birmingham
B16 6GX.

The Office of the Public Guardian will consider your application before deciding whether to release more information. This will depend on things such as:

  • Your relationship to the person.
  • The information you are requesting.
  • Why you wish to access it.

You don’t have to pay an extra fee for a second tier search of the registers.

For information concerning the Office of the Public Guardian for Scotland, click here.  

Office of the Public Guardian Lasting Power of Attorney