Legislation and Dementia Care

Dementia & Elderly Care

Legislations that govern work with individuals with dementia

Enduring Power of Attorney Act

Those who are over 18 years old and has the mental ability to make their own decision can organize for the future for someone to make decisions for them if they ever become incapable. Power of attorney is the term for legal authority. The person who is given power of attorney must be over 18 years old and will be known as an attorney for the particular person; they act similarly like an advocate. The individual who is appointing someone to be their attorney are known as the donor. The donor can choose just one attorney or more than one where they will either always make decision together or make some decisions together and some individually. There are three different types of power of attorney which are personal welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (ATL), property and affairs LPA and Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) deals with the property and affairs. [NHS UK; 2015]. A LPA is a legal appliance that allows a person to choose who they wish to make decisions on their behalf if they ever become unable to. It allows a person to decide on a person or people that they trust. There are two types of LPA although each covers different decision and there are separate application forms. The person can choose to make the attorney both or just on. [GOV UK; 2015]. An EPA is a document which appoints someone to help manage a persons property, financial affairs and money. They will help with making decision on the persons behalf such as if the individual has became unwell or sustained a life changing injury causing them to have a lack of mental capacity. Furthermore, if a person still has the mental capacity they can still allow a EPA to help manage their finances. [Alzheimer's Society; 2013].

Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act 1998 is enforced throughout the United Kingdom and involves a series of sections for protecting all citizens. Courts, hospitals, police, local governments, publicly funded schools and others that carry out public functions that have to comply with the convention rights. The act encourages rights and freedoms that all UK citizens are entitled to such as right to a air trial, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, right to life, freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence, right to marry and begin a family. [Equality and Human Rights Commission; 2015].

Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act 1998 governs how individuals personal information is used by the government, businesses and organisations. Those responsible for using personal data is encouraged to follow strict rules known as data protection principle. This involves ensuring the information is used for limited, specifically stated purposes, accurate, used fairly and lawfully, handled according to people's data protection rights, used in adequate, relevant and non excessive ways, kept safe and secure, not transferred outside of the UK without appropriate protection and not kept longer than what is necessary. These is much more significant legal protection for sensitive information such as health, sexual health, criminal records, ethnic background, religious beliefs and political opinions. [GOV UK; 2014].

Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act encourages the protection and empowerment of individuals who lack mental capacity to make their own decisions with regards to their care and treatment. It applies to anyone over the age of 16 years old. Those who often lack mental capacity include people with a brain injury, people who are unconscious due to an accident or anaesthetic, people with dementia, people with severe learning disabilities, people who have suffered a stroke and people with a mental health condition. This legislation encourages that although a person has one of these conditions it does not mean that they lack the capacity to make specific decisions. As an example a person can lack the capacity to decide on complex financial issues but have the capacity to decide what items they wish to buy from the supermarket. Furthermore, this legislation believes that everyone had the right to make their own decisions and that professionals should always consider that an individual has the capacity to make decisions unless evidence proves otherwise. Also, it believes that individuals must have the opportunity to make their own decisions with support, an example is the person being provided with information that is easy for them to understand. This legislation allows people to express their preferences of their care and treatment in case they lack capacity to make these particular choices. They can designate a person to make decisions on their behalf. Most people are provided with an independent advocate who will support the person and make decisions such as their treatment. [NHS UK; 2015].

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 encourages preventing vulnerable individuals against harm, risk of harm and preventing those who are believed to be unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups from gaining access to them through work. Organisations that have responsibility for providing services to vulnerable people have a legal obligation to refer relevant information to the service. Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding authority consolidated to become the Disclosure and Barring service which is encouraged by all health and social care professionals, services and organisations. [Social Care Institute for Excellence; 2010].

Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act 1983 allows people with a mental disorder or illness to be admitted to hospital, treated without consent or detained across England and Wales. This is for their own safety as well as others. In Northern Ireland and Scotland they have different laws about the treatment for mental ill health.

Depending on particular situations people can be detained, admitted and treated under different sections of the Mental Health Act. Sectioned is a term used for a compulsory admission to hospital for the protection and safety of the individual and others. Section 2 is the admission of someone for assessment, section 3 is treatment for the person and section 4 is used in an emergency. Those who are compulsorily admitted to hospital are referred to as involuntary or formal patients. [Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience; 2015].

Single Equality Act

The Equality Act 2010 provides a legal framework that protects the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for ever individual. The act simplifies, strengthens and provides harmony to British citizens with a new discrimination law that protects individuals from unfair treatment and encouraged a fair and equal society. This legislation encourages Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Equal Pay Act 1970 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [Equality and Human rights Commission; 2015].

Frameworks that govern work with individuals with dementia

Some if the frameworks involved with working with people who have dementia include Putting People First and Living Well With Dementia.

Putting people first is a shared vision and commitment to the transformation of adult social care

Putting people first 2007 is a national agreement that sets out a future for the changes in adult social care services. [Wellbeing for life Newcastle; 2015]. This framework encourages vulnerable people to choose how they wish to live their life and what care they would like to receive as long as professionals agree that it is suitable for meeting their needs. There are five milestones involved to ensure the individual is always put first. These include the appropriate information and advice being made available to them, local commissioning and market development, effective partnerships, prevention and services that are cost effective, also personal budgets and self directed support. The five milestones can encourage vulnerable individuals to feel that they are worthy, in control of their life and are being put first.

Living well with Dementia relates to the National Dementia Strategy

The National Dementia Strategy is a plan by the government that explain what is expected to transform the quality of life for those living with dementia, their relatives and carers. It involves 17 recommendations which the government encourages local authorities, NHS and others to follow in order for dementia care services to improve. The recommendations focus on raising awareness and understanding, living well with dementia and early diagnosis and support. In order for local services to deliver the strategy effectively the government invested £150 million to support the services. [Alzheimer's Society; 2015]. The strategy provides frameworks where local services are able to provide advice, guidance and support for health and social care commissioners and providers in development, planning and monitoring services, deliver quality improvements to dementia services and identify health inequalities that relate to dementia, finally providing a guide to the content of high quality services for dementia. [Department of Health; 2009].