Citizens Advice Salford
After a diagnosis of dementia: next steps.
A diagnosis of dementia can be a big shock – for the person with the condition, and their family. It can be difficult to know what to do, what decisions need to be made, who to tell, what support is available and what happens next.
This is a quick summary of some of the key points you could usefully think about.
Ask whether there will be a follow up appointment after the diagnosis.
If yes, who will you see? How often? Who makes this appointment?
Who will be your main point of contact? Who will be responsible for coordinating subsequent care and support?
Arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney for:
- Health and welfare
- Property and financial affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document, nominating a person, often a grown-up child, to make decisions on behalf of a person with dementia, if and when the time comes that they no longer have the capacity to make these decisions themselves. It is very important to fill in and register an LPA for both health and welfare, and property and financial affairs, while the person with dementia still has the capacity to do so.
Make a will:
Making a will, while the person with dementia has the capacity to do so, will mean they can decide who gets any property and money when they die, otherwise these are distributed under a set formula.
Discuss plans and wishes for the future with your family, including:
- your wishes regarding your future care,
- your wishes regarding your future medical treatment,
- your hopes about your involvement with activities.
You might want to do an Advance Care Plan, a document that outlines a person’s future wishes for their care and medical treatment.
Apply for a Carers’ Assessment
Anyone with caring responsibilities for a person with dementia is entitled to a Carers’ Assessment, to be carried out by their Local Authority. The Assessment will look at the impact that caring for a person with dementia is having and will then identify the type and level of support that is needed. This could include some care for the person with dementia, some training or some help coming into the home. You will need to request the assessment from your Local Authority. Both the person with dementia and the main carer are entitled to support from their local authority if it is needed. Community Care Assessments can be a source of disagreement and we are happy to give you advice about your rights.
Apply for all the relevant financial support you are entitled to.
People with dementia and their family carers are entitled to various benefits, tax discounts or financial support. It is important to make sure you are receiving all the financial help you are entitled to. Understanding these and applying can be confusing, so please contact us for more information.
You might be entitled to: –
- Attendance Allowance (if the person with a diagnosis is at state pension age or over)
- Personal Independence Payment (if the person with a diagnosis is under the state pension age)
- Council Tax reduction or exemption
- Carer’s Allowance
- Disability premium
- Direct payments and personal budgets.
For more information about the benefits, exemptions and support you might be entitled to see later advice pieces or give us a call now on 0808 27 87 802.
Organise your home so it helps you live safely and independently.
There are lots of simple, practical steps that can be taken to help a person with dementia to be safe and comfortable in their home. An excellent place to start to find our more would be the Dementia UK website at www.dementiauk.org.uk.
Inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and your vehicle insurance company of a diagnosis of dementia.
People with a diagnosis of dementia do not automatically have to give up their driving licence – but you do need to take certain steps to make sure you are insured and abiding by the law. This is just a summary, but you must inform the DVLA and your insurers of your diagnosis.
You can find out more by going to www.gov.uk/dementia-and-driving.
Inform your employer about the diagnosis.
If you are diagnosed with dementia and still working, it is very important that you tell your employer, so that steps can be taken to support you in your job, if possible.
Similarly, if you are caring for someone with dementia, telling your employer about your changing responsibilities will help you plan together, so that you can continue working and caring as effectively as possible.
People with long term health needs have certain protections in the workplace.
Explore what local services and support are available.
Ask us or your GP, local authority, social worker, and other friends and family, or our friends at Age UK Salford about support groups and services for people with dementia and those who care for them in your area.
Age UK Salford dementia support 0161 728 2001, or 07928 826036, or email email@example.com.
Citizens Advice Salford www.salfordcab.org.uk or 0800 27 87 802.
Keep on top of your health.
Arrange sight and hearing tests, as well as dental appointments, and attend all health screening appointments you are invited to.
Keeping well when you have dementia, or if you care for someone who does, is extremely important.