According to a recent report, millions of people are leaving vital decisions about their end of life care in the hands of strangers.
A study by Solicitors for the Elderly and leading think-tank Centre for Future Studies warns that the UK is facing an incapacity crisis.
Highlighting that a growing number of people are now living with dementia, the report states that a failure to plan means that the nation is unprepared for end of life.
Is the UK sleepwalking towards a dementia crisis?
The research has found that:
- 7% of Britons have not made arrangements in case they lose capacity from conditions such as dementia
- 36% of people have made no provisions at all for later life. This includes things like Wills, pensions, funeral plans and LPAs
- 79% have not spoken about or considered medical and care end of life decisions
- Only 3% of Britons have a health and welfare LPA in place.
However, despite this lack of planning:
- 73% of people are worried about becoming mentally incapacitated and losing the ability to make decisions for themselves.
One of the reasons for this failure to prepare might be because:
- 63% of people incorrectly believe that their next of kin can specify what they would have wanted if they are no longer able to.
What should you do to prepare?
There are currently 12.8 million people over the age of 65 who run the risk of developing dementia. However, there are only 928,000 Health & Welfare LPAs presently registered with the Office of the Public Guardian across England and Wales.
This means that almost 12 million people who are at risk of becoming incapacitated in the future haven’t made plans to make sure that their wishes are adhered to.
Even worse, because of the predicted increase in dementia, by 2025 there will be a staggering 13.2 million people unprepared for the increased risk of incapacity.
There is no denying that this situation is worrying. As such, if you want to make sure your wishes are followed when the time comes, it is essential to start conversations and proper planning for end of life.
If you don’t, this failure to plan could result in decisions being made for you which are contrary to your wishes.
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To speak with one of our specialist Wills & Probate Lawyers, please call us now on 0117 952 0698 or Make A Free Will Enquiry and we will discuss your current circumstances with you and explain all available options available to you.