THE need for people to make legal arrangements when faced with Alzheimer’s disease has been highlighted during Dementia Awareness Week in York.

Harrowells Solicitors, which has offices in York, Thirsk, Easingwold and Pocklington, sponsored an event hosted by York’s Alzheimer’s Society to promote Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). The process lets people appoint someone else to make legal decisions on their behalf.

Hudda Morgan, a private client lawyer with Harrowells Solicitors, said older people and their families should arrange an LPA as routinely as making a will in light of an anticipated rise in the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia, even if it is never needed.

She said: “Even when someone has already been diagnosed with such a condition, there can sometimes be a reluctance to make an LPA, because people can feel that they are losing control. In fact they are taking control by being proactive and doing so could be crucial for their future and managing their family assets.

“People should arrange an LPA as routinely as making a will. This is far better than waiting until someone’s health deteriorates and it is necessary to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint someone, which is more stressful, more time consuming and significantly more expensive.

“Also, once Alzheimer’s or Dementia starts to restrict a person’s awareness, and a family has applied to the Court of Protection, it is harder for the person living with the condition to choose who will gain control of their affairs and it is easier for them to be contested.

“Where an LPA has been arranged early as a precaution, the person granted control can ensure that finances are managed properly, which can be crucial in meeting the costs of specialist care.”