Lasting Power of Attorney 'vital for dementia sufferers'

by Sarah Ashcroft

Nearly two thirds (66 per cent) of those aged 55 and over are worried about dementia, a new survey to mark National Dementia Awareness Week reveals. However, many people do not realise that treating the condition early can slow down symptoms.

One in five (19 per cent) people think there is nothing that can be done to combat dementia. But Saga and Alzheimer's Society, which jointly commissioned the survey, point to just the opposite, as there are a range of measures to delay the symptoms.

Despite this, the organisations agree that establishing a Lasting Power of Attorney is vital for anyone suffering from dementia. Carers, they say, must make sure the person with the condition registers one before it is too late. Writing a will is also essential before the sufferer loses the mental capacity to do so.

"It is clear that many people are worried about this condition but they shouldn't think there is nothing they can do. We want to help people understand dementia better so that they can get preparations in place for them and their family," comments Ros Altmann, director general of Saga.

"There are preventative steps we can all take such as leading a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods and keeping our minds and bodies active, but it is also vital to spot the early signs of dementia to seek diagnosis and treatments."

Talking to someone suffering from dementia about things like Lasting Power of Attorney and making a will can be troublesome. As a survey for the Dying MattersĀ Coalition recently found, subjects such as death and end of life wishes remains taboo in this country.

Two-thirds (71 per cent) of people believe Brits are uncomfortable discussing dying, death and bereavement. The survey also found that just 37 per cent of people have written a will, while under one in ten (eight per cent) have made provisions in case they lose mental capacity later in life.

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Published on: May 22, 2012

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