NHS to offer patients more advice to reduce risk of dementia

Health care professionals are to offer patients more advice about reducing the risk of developing dementia.

It’s estimated that over 850,000 people are living with the disease in the UK with little public understanding of how to reduce the risk.

The NHS Health Check programme already covers a wide range of services designed to detect and prevent illnesses at an early stage.

The programme will soon see advisers talking to patients about how they can reduce their dementia risk in various ways, such as by maintaining their social life, keeping mentally and physically active and stopping smoking.

Minister for Public Health Steve Brine said: “Early detection and prevention are vital to the health of our nation and our programmes in this area are among the most ambitious in the world.

“Our aim is to keep everyone as healthy as possible, for as long as possible, which is why we are introducing advice on dementia prevention as part of our free health checks.”

It is encouraging to see such comprehensive measures being put in place to tackle dementia, but as well as health issues for sufferers, there are also practical matters relating to how their financial and business affairs should be managed.

Sufferers may have to rely on their families to make important decisions for them, but this can be difficult if legal arrangements have not been made in advance. Families may have to go through complicated court procedures to be granted authority to manage the sufferer’s affairs.

You may not be able to predict your future health but it is possible to put procedures in place so that people you trust will be able to help you if you do fall ill in the future.

The best way to do this is by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA enables you to nominate someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you ever lose the ability to do so yourself through illnesses such as dementia.

The property and finance LPA allows you to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs and the personal welfare LPA lets you grant an attorney authority over such matters as health care and the kind of treatment you receive.

Please contact us if you would like more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney.

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