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What You Need To Know About Mental Capacity

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Mental capacity is a legal term that is used to describe an individual's ability to make decisions. It is important to understand what mental capacity means as it can be used in different legal scenarios such as Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and Mental Capacity Act assessments. 

There are different levels of mental capacity and it can be affected by a person's age, illness or disability. It is important to be aware of what factors can affect mental capacity as it can help you make important decisions on behalf of

1. What is mental capacity?

Mental capacity is the ability to make sound decisions and judgments. A person with mental capacity is able to understand information and make decisions for him or herself.

In order for a person to be considered to have mental capacity, he or she must be able to:

- Understand information given to them

- Retain that information long enough to make a decision

- Weigh up different options

- Communicate their decision

If a person is unable to do any of the above, they may be considered to lack mental capacity.

2. How can you tell if someone has lost mental capacity?

There is no one definitive answer to this question, as there are many factors that can contribute to someone losing mental capacity. However, some common signs that someone may be experiencing cognitive decline include forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty completing familiar tasks, and changes in mood or personality. If you are concerned that someone you know may be losing mental capacity, it is important to speak with a Social Work professional to get a more accurate assessment.

3. How can you protect someone's mental capacity?

One way to protect someone's mental capacity is to ensure that they have regular mental health check-ups

This can help to catch any potential problems early on and get the person the help they need. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the person has a support system in place, whether that be family, friends, or a therapist. Finally, it is important to have a plan in place in case the person's mental capacity does decline. This plan should include things like who will make decisions for the person and how those decisions will be made.

4. What happens if someone loses mental capacity?

If someone loses their mental capacity, it can have a number of implications for their life. They may no longer be able to make decisions about their finances, their health, or their living arrangements. If they have not appointed a power of attorney, their family members may need to go through the court system to be appointed as their legal deputy. This process can be lengthy and expensive, and it may not be possible to make all the decisions that the person needs. In some cases, the person may need to be placed in a long-term care facility.

This article provides an overview of mental capacity and outlines what you need to know if you are acting as a deputy or appointed person. If you would like more information, or you need support in managing someone's affairs, please contact our team at Nellie Supports on 0333 987 5118 or at

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1 commentaire

22 mars

Can a social worker who is work independently gets supervised?

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