Plan for the Future

If you have any Health Concerns it is important to visit your GP. If you have dementia an early diagnosis can help you plan for the future. Dementia is progressive which means that symptoms get worse over time. However many people with an early diagnosis of dementia lead active and fulfilling lives for many years.  There are some practical steps you can do to help you live as well as possible.

Practical Steps

Planning Ahead

After you have had time to adjust to your diagnosis talk to others and make sure your personal, financial and other affairs are in good order.  Consider granting a Power of Attorney, this is a legal document which allows you to decide  who you would like to look after your affairs if you are unable to do so in the future. This will allow you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able.  Completing the Getting to Know Me Document is a good way to ensure you can influence your future medical care together with setting up an Advance Statement.  You should also make sure your will is up to date but this does not replace a Power of Attorney.

My Power of Attorney is a campaign about giving individuals the power to make decisions that will protect them, their family and those they care about should they ever lose the capacity to make decisions for themselves. You can also talk to an Advocacy Worker, your GP or a Solicitor about making plans for your future. Where these powers have not been granted and a person lacks capacity to make a decision no one has the automatic right to make that decision. In the case where welfare or financial decisions need to be made on an individual’s behalf but the individual lacks capacity a Guardianship Order can be applied for.

This is a legal process which can take up to six months and is a Court Order issued under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act (2000).

Financial Considerations

You and your carer might be entitled to Benefits. If you have dementia you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance, or (if under 65) Disability Living Allowance or the new Personal Independence Payment. Your carer may also be eligible for Carer’s Allowance.

Ask your bank about a Third-party Mandate which will allow someone you trust to deal with your bank account. Consider getting a Chip and Signature Card, so you don’t have to remember a PIN number.

Further Advice

Contact the East Dunbartonshire Dementia Network, Citizens Advice Bureau, Ceartas, Carers Link or Alzheimer Scotland for further advice about planning for the future.