How to manage someone with Dementia
While dealing with Dementia is a very human scenario thousands of people go through every day there are some foundations to dealing with scenarios where decisions need to be made about their care.
The legislation across Australia is based on the international principle of “presumption of capacity”. This means that you are assumed to have capacity to make your own decisions unless someone can prove that you do not.
Just having a family member or nonprofessional person claiming that you do not have
capacity, is not enough for you to be prevented from making your own decisions. Capacity is decision specific so even if you have been diagnosed with dementia, you may still have capacity to make all or at least some of your own decisions, especially if you have been diagnosed with early dementia.
Decision-making capacity may fluctuate over time and depend on the context such as the time of day, location, noise, stress or anxiety levels, medication or infection.
What if a person with Dementia can't make decisions?
The judgement about a person’s capacity to make their own decisions is based on evidence and usually requires a report from a health professional such as a doctor or psychologist. There are a variety of tests that these professionals may use to guide them in
their judgements about your capacity to make your own decisions.
It is important to consider planning ahead, discussing everyone’s wishes as a family unit and appointing someone, or more than one person, to make these life changing decisions in the event that person loses the capacity to do so.