Pratima Ale

Health and social care level 3


Dementia is a decline in mental abilities or cognitive functions such as memory, language, reasoning, planning, recognizing, or identifying people or objects.


Syndromes of dementia:

  • memory loss
  • thinking speed
  • mental agility
  • language
  • understanding
  • judgement

Legislation and Regulations for dementia:

A range of legislation is of particular relevance to people living with dementia. Legislation like Mental capacity act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty, Equality Act 2010 are some of the legislation which are prevalent for the people suffering from dementia. These legislation focuses on the rights and regulations for an individual to support themselves from inequality, disrespect and to protect their rights and confidentiality in dignified way.

Deprivation of Liberty:

It is unlawful for any person to deprive any other person of his liberty except under certain circumstances and with due legal authorization. A Supreme Court judgement in March 2014 defined deprivation of liberty in such a way as to reduce the threshold at which someone is deemed to be deprived of their liberty if they lack the mental capacity to agree to the arrangements. They aim to make sure that people in care homes, hospitals and supported living are looked after in such a way that doesn't inappropriately restrict their freedom.The safeguards should ensure that a care home or hospitals only deprives someone of their liberty in a safe and correct way and that this is only done when it is in the best interest of the person and there is no other way to look after them. The safeguards apply to vulnerable people (dementia ) who are at hospital and care homes and who don't have mental capacity to make decisions about their care and treatment. A deprivation of liberty authorization cannot be used if a person has the mental capacity to make decisions, so the persons' capacity will be assessed as part of the process.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 clarifies the legal position of those providing help or services to people who may lack the capacity to take certain actions or decisions for themselves( dementia). It defines key principles which must be applied: Presumption of capacity; supporting individuals to make their own decisions; freedom to make unwise decisions; always acting in the person's best interests; and using the least restrictive option. The Act provides a test to assess someone's capacity to make a particular decision.

It also provides mechanisms, such as Lasting Power of Attorney and advance decisions to refuse treatment, which enable individuals to retain some control and have their wishes implemented in the event of future loss of mental capacity.

An understanding and implementation of the Act is essential for people working with those living with dementia. The Act and code of practice apply to all staff working with people who may lack capacity.