The recent news that Fiona Phillips (television presenter and Daily Mirror columnist) has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at only 62, highlights that Alzheimer’s and dementia are not just conditions that affect the elderly.
Although rare, early onset Alzheimer’s can affect young people. The Alzheimer's Society published an article on Daniel Bradbury who was diagnosed at age 30. Daniel had been experiencing symptoms of short-term memory loss.
“Am I too young to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?” Well, the short answer is no.
The implications of such a diagnosis at a young age must be devastating for the people involved and their families. One thing that you can do is to make sure that you have Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in place. This means that those you trust are able to make decisions for you regarding your financial affairs and your health and welfare, should you become unable to make decisions yourself.
In order to make LPAs you must have mental capacity. This means that you must be able to understand information and be able to communicate your decisions about your life. You must also be able to remember the information long enough and not have a disorder of the mind. Unfortunately, if you are deemed to not have mental capacity the only option available to family or friends is to make an application to the Court of Protection. This can be a lengthy process; it can take up to a year and can make life difficult for those who wish to help you. There won’t be anyone who is authorised to access your bank or make decisions about your health care.
By making LPAs earlier in your life you are ensuring that there will be someone you trust that is able to make decisions on your behalf should the unexpected happen.