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The Financial and Emotional Cost of Dementia

May 22, 2017

As of today 22nd May, the Tories are in disarray over their plans to change the rules over the funding of social care. In particular their plan as described in the manifesto does not appear to have addressed the position of surviving spouses or partners. Typically husband and wife hold their house as ‘joint tenants’ whereby the surviving spouse inherits the whole of the house whether or not there is a will. What happens if the house has to be sold on the first death? What if the survivor then needs social care? See: https://skwawkbox.org/2017/05/21/dementiatax-what-happens-when-surviving-spouse-needs-care-too-ge17/

It also appears that Philip May is a key executive of Capital Group a key provider of Equity Release schemes which the Tories are specifying as the only means of retaining the property up to the first death – surely a conflict of interest.

I expect lawyers will be very inventive in devising ways of getting round the ‘dementia tax’. But not everyone will think of contacting their solicitor.

But the Tories are only making worse a dilemma which couples face regardless of finance. Someone getting dementia may not want to impose a huge emaotional burden on their partner, but be unable to do anything about it. Living with someone who no longer knows you must be a nightmare. Dignity in Dying  believes ” the right law for the UK is one that allows dying people, with six months or less to live the option to control their death. We do not support a wider law.” They believe that their position is supported by 82% of the public. The Swiss organization Dignitas supports assisted dying in a wider range of circumstances.

Traditionally Christianity has condemned suicide as being a terrible sin in any circumstances. That attitude has changed somewhat, but the attitude of modern Tories seems to be logically consistent with a situation where people can make legally enforceable Living Wills. This could be implemented in the form of modified Last Powers of Attorney, Health and Welfare in which the attorney would have to be an independent person who would consult the family but not be bound by their opinion.

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From → social care

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