The challenges of Young Onset Dementia are significantly different

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The challenges of Young Onset Dementia are significantly different

Many have the misconception that Dementia is a natural part of ageing…IT IS NOT!

Another common misconception is that Dementia is only prevalent in later years, again IT IS NOT.

Dementia, although not as frequent, can be diagnosed from any age and in the UK alone there are over 42,000 people with Dementia that are under the age of 65, which is around 5% of those with Dementia.

The challenges faced by those with a diagnosis of Young Onset Dementia are often significantly different to those diagnosed with Dementia at a later stage of their life.

Some of those challenges include:

Having to decide whether they can continue to work

For those that are still employed when receiving their diagnosis of Dementia, they will be faced with the unenviable task of speaking with the employer and discussing with their family and medical professionals to see exactly what they can continue to do, what they should expect and whether any work is possible and if so, for how long.

It may be that hours need to be reduced, roles need to change or adjust to capabilities, or perhaps work will need to stop completely.

Reducing hours, or stopping work altogether, can have a big impact not only financially (which we explore a little later) but also emotionally, physically and in terms of keeping the mind active. Without a daily routine and work to prepare for and keep you busy throughout the day we can often see a much quicker decline where there is not something else keeping the mind active and the person physically active and busy.

Having a bigger financial burden

A diagnosis of Dementia for someone  that is still working and still has a mortgage to pay can be devastating and bring a big financial (not to mention emotional!) burden that was never expected.

For many, their mortgage is the largest expense and if you are forced to give up work then your finances are bound to be lower. Some will be covered by Income Protection or other insurances which will be welcomed at such a difficult time, but for others the loss of an income due to an inability to work can be devastating.

It may also be the case that a spouse or partner, perhaps even an adult child, has to give up work or reduce their hours to help with the care. This may not be immediate but may be required as the Dementia progresses and as the needs of the person living with Dementia increase. This is something that will need to be carefully planned for as again, this could decrease the household income further.

Having dependents

Those that are diagnosed with young onset Dementia may still have people that rely on them, whether that be children, a spouse or partner, perhaps even their own parents or other loved ones and this can be difficult to navigate following a diagnosis of Dementia when it is inevitable that the care that they themselves will need will increase.

Receiving a diagnosis at any age is not ideal and comes with its challenges at any age BUT don’t forget…YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

There are places, groups, organisations and people that can help and support you through this, so please reach out.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Do you have an experience you would like to share?

Or, is there a topic you would like us to write about?

Get in touch – Info@DementiaTLC.co.uk

Can I make a Lasting Power of Attorney after being diagnosed with Dementia?

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Can I make a Lasting Power of Attorney after being diagnosed with Dementia?

As you may know, a Lasting Power of Attorney is put in place so that someone that you trust implicitly (known as Attorneys) can manage your finances & property and/or your health & welfare decisions on your behalf.

A Lasting Power of Attorney must be put in place whilst the Donor (the person giving the Power) has capacity, and a Certificate Provider is required to certify this in order for the Lasting Power of Attorney to be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian.

Once diagnosed with Dementia is it too late to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Whether a Lasting Power of Attorney can be created and registered after a Dementia diagnosis will depend on how soon the diagnosis takes place and whether that individual has capacity, lucid or ‘good’ days and is still of sound mind.

If the individual still has capacity or has lucid days where they are clear on their finances, current affairs and appear to be unaffected by the Dementia then it may well be that a Lasting Power of Attorney can be prepared at this time and instructions taken from the individual. 

A Certificate Provider will meet with the individual and go through, carefully and sensitively, the current circumstances and ask questions as to that individual’s circumstances and personal affairs, as well as current affairs in the news and media, to ascertain their general capacity and mental wellbeing. If the Certificate Provider is content that the intended Donor has capacity, and they are aware of the importance of the Lasting Power of Attorney and the extent of the Power that they are giving to their Attorneys, then the Lasting Power of Attorney can be applied for and registered.

When registering a Lasting Power of Attorney, it may be necessary to notify people that an application is being made in order to protect the Donor. Notification can be given to up to five people although this cannot be given to those that are being appointed as the Attorneys. This provides extra security for the Donor and allows the person, or people, being notified of the intended registration the opportunity to object to the Power being registered for any of the following reasons:-

  • if they believe that the Donor does not have mental capacity;
  • if the person being notified has a genuine belief that the Donor was under undue pressure to give the Power or is a victim of fraud;
  • if the person being notified has a genuine belief that the Attorney would act in a way that is beyond their powers under the Power or would not be in the best interests of the Donor;
  • if the Donor of the intended Attorney, or Attorneys, have already passed away;
  • if the Donor and intended Attorney were married or in a civil partnership and this has now ended;
  • if the intended Attorney does not have the mental capacity to be appointed as an Attorney;
  • if the Attorney is bankrupt;

Having both Lasting Powers of Attorney in place means that, the Donor is able to appoint the people they know and trust (whilst still of sound mind to make such a decision) to make decisions for them when they are unable to do so for themselves, and takes an unnecessary stress away from both them and their loved ones at, what is already, a difficult time.

We are always happy to have a chat with you about putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, the Powers that are available and whether this is still a viable option for either yourself or a loved one.

If you would like to have a free chat about Lasting Power of Attorneys, please contact us on  info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

What to do after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

What to do after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Whether receiving a diagnosis for yourself or a loved one, it is a very difficult time, so much information to take in and lots of changes on the horizon. It can be overwhelming.

Depending on where you are on your journey when the diagnosis takes place, may depend on the amount of information you already have and what is available.

Here we set out a simple list of steps that should be taken upon diagnosis to help you set off on the right path…

Knowledge is Power

You may have had experience with Alzheimer’s or Dementia before, or this may well be your first encounter, either way there may be symptoms that you are not aware of or have not experienced before.

The more you can learn the better. The phrase “forewarned is forearmed” comes to mind. The more we know, the better we can prepare.

There is a lot of support around online, groups, professionals, carers, families and individuals that have also been diagnosed all navigating a similar journey. Linking up with these groups and support can be beneficial mentally and emotionally.

Allow yourself to feel

As we have said, receiving a diagnosis for yourself or a loved one, is a very difficult time, so much information to take in and lots of changes on the horizon. Allowing yourself to go through the emotions you are feeling is okay.

You are not superhuman or a robot and taking time to acknowledge and process those emotions is invaluable.

There is no ‘correct path’ of emotions to take and so feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment and disbelief are all natural feelings.

Getting into a Routine

Getting organised and into a routine can really help, not only in terms of getting into good habits but to help set out early where everyone is, what should be done when and to know what is expected when. This is vital as the Alzheimer’s or Dementia progresses as routine and structure will be a necessity.

Alzheimer’s affects memory and so having a structured routine can help keep track of medication, appointments, activities and day-to-day tasks.

Routine can help to reduce stress, anxiety and frustration and increase independence and feelings of security.

Ensure your LEGAL and FINANCIAL affairs are in order

Managing your financial and legal affairs is impossible once capacity is lost. 

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia does not automatically mean that capacity is lost and so arranging the correct legal authorities are in place, whilst you have capacity to do so is vital.

You may consider reviewing your Will but also putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place so that the person that you choose, and trust, has the authority to deal with your matters (financial, property, health and welfare) when you are no longer able to do so.  

We are always happy to have a free chat with you about this – CLICK HERE

Look at what CAN be done

Once a diagnosis is received is very easy to see this as a disabling disease that will only get worse and therefore discount capabilities, activities and all those things that were much loved prior to the diagnosis.

THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THE CASE!

It is so important to consider what can still be achieved, the preferences, opinions and desires of the person living with Alzheimer’s.

A diagnosis doesn’t always mean that a person is incapable and they won’t necessarily lose their desire to carry out those activities that they used to love. Being able to carry this on for as long as is safe can be great for independence, self-esteem not to mention physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Consider a Care Plan

It is inevitable that as the Alzheimer’s or Dementia progresses the need for care will increase, as will appointments with an array of professionals.

There may be a range of people helping with care, loved ones, family, friends and professionals, and a care plan can assist with setting out who is responsible for what, what is expected and when this is expected.

Having a plan for now, as well as having discussions about what may be needed as the condition progresses, and how this could be catered for can save a lot of stress in the future.

Diagnosis is NOT the End

It is natural to feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel or struggle to see what there is to be grateful for when receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia as the road ahead can seem somewhat bleak and overwhelming however, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Taking into account point 5 above and looking at what can be done means that it is not the end…fun can still be had, knowledge can still be gained and relationships can still develop. 

Yes, things will be different but that does not mean it has to be worse.

You are NOT alone

Remember, whether you are the one that has been diagnosed, a loved one or caregiver…you are NOT alone.

There are lots of support groups out there, those that you can attend locally and National support groups that you can access online.

We have a list of upcoming events that maybe local to you on our website HERE.

There are no stupid questions and so we should not be afraid to ask for help or assistance.

Everyone’s journey is different, neither right nor wrong. We all have different experiences and can learn something new.

 

Do you have an experience you would like to share?

Or, is there a topic you would like us to write about?

Get in touch – Info@DementiaTLC.co.uk