dementia power of attorney

Dementia – how one woman controlled her care

The press recently highlighted how one woman dealt with the issue of the onset of early dementia, by leaving detailed instructions to her family about how she wanted to be looked after – in her diary.
Now in a care home, the woman was diagnosed with the disease four years ago, at the age of 39 – around 30 years at least before one would expect a diagnosis. She had been warned in her 20s however, that the hereditary gene defect she carried, could trigger the condition at an early age.
Once diagnosed, she began writing of her fears for the future, stating that in the later stages, she wanted to be taken to a specialist unit or hospice. She also included details of how she wanted her funeral ceremony to be performed.
It was only when her husband was packing up her belongings, ready to move into the care home, that he stumbled across the diaries and although placing his wife into a home was an unbearable decision, he was comforted with the thought that it was what she wanted.
We have no knowledge of when our life as we know it will end, and no guarantee that we will continue to remain healthy and mentally sound well into our retirement. For this reason, it is vital that our thoughts and wishes are formally documented so that our loved ones can care for us in sickness and death. Although this brave woman chose to write her thoughts in a diary, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) ensures that our medical care and financial obligations are taken care of effectively, should the worst happen.

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