Calls for increased LPA awareness due to expected rapid rise in dementia numbers
According to Alzheimer’s Research – the UK’s leading dementia research charity – the number of people with dementia is projected to increase rapidly over the next several decades, mainly due to increases in life expectancy and population demographics.
According to the charity, one million people in the UK will have dementia by 2025, and this will increase to two million by 2050. Globally, the number of people living with dementia will increase from 50m in 2018 to 152m in 2050. That’s a 204% increase1.
Alzheimer’s Research also provides details on the areas across the UK that show a higher number of people living with dementia.
With many people with dementia eventually reaching a point where they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves, these shocking statistics have led to calls to ensure that more people are aware of the importance of LPAs.
Last month, Solicitors for the Elderly warned that the UK is ‘sleepwalking’ towards a dementia crisis, with millions of people failing to take steps to prepare for losing mental capacity.
The report, published in conjunction with the Centre for Future Studies (CFS), states that:
“Based on forecasting analysis of the evidence, this report suggests the UK is now facing an incapacity crisis. This is caused by the gap between the rising number of us facing incapacity (due to people living longer and the prevalence of conditions like dementia), compared with too few Britons planning ahead for a loss of capacity. This paints a worrying picture of a nation leaving our fate in the hands of strangers.”
The research also shows that, while there are currently 12.8 million people over the age of 65 who run the risk of developing dementia, there are only 928,000 Health & Welfare LPAs presently registered with the Office of the Public Guardian across England and Wales.
These statistics suggest that almost 12 million people at risk of future incapacity haven’t planned ahead to ensure their wishes are followed. And, based on the predicted increase in dementia, by 2025 there will be 13.2 million people unprepared for the increased risk of incapacity.
Commenting on the findings, Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, has advised that people set up an LPA well in advance. She said: “You can specify what decisions you are happy for them to make on your behalf and you can also choose more than one attorney who could be a family member, a friend, spouse, partner or civil partner, or a professional, such as a solicitor”.
Jeremy Hughes CBE, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society, added: “People with dementia have the right to make choices about their care, just like anyone else. Making someone they trust their attorney for health and welfare is one of the ways people can do this. Health and welfare LPAs provide reassurance to them and the act of creating one can start useful conversations about the future with family and friends.”