Mental Capacity Solicitors
Mental capacity is the ability to make decisions for yourself. Sometimes people - such as those with dementia or brain injuries - need someone to take decisions on their behalf.
Coles Miller helps people who have lost mental capacity to enjoy a good quality of life despite the challenges they face. We work with the individuals concerned, their families and carers.
Contact us here to find out more about how our specialist Court of Protection solicitors can help you.
Definition of Mental Capacity
A person is judged to lack mental capacity if they cannot do one of the following:
- understand information given to them
- retain it long enough to make a decision
- weigh up available information to come to a decision
- communicate their decision - by talking, sign language, even blinking an eye or squeezing a hand.
Before anyone can take decisions on someone’s behalf, they must have a reasonable belief that the person concerned is no longer capable of making those decisions.
The key legislation governing this is the Mental Capacity Act 2005 or ‘MCA’.
How The Mental Capacity Act 2005 Protects Your Rights
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is designed to help prevent vulnerable people from falling victim to fraud or abuse.
It strengthens the right of people to make their own decisions about matters that affect them.
Fundamental to this is the key principle that people should be supported to make as many decisions for themselves as possible. Any decisions made on behalf of the person should always be in their best interests.
The 2005 Act also helps to resolve disputes over whether a person has mental capacity or not.
It is accompanied by a Code of Practice that contains guidance for professionals such as GPs, hospital doctors, social services and carers. Our solicitors advise professionals to help them comply with the code.
The Mental Capacity Act created a specialist Court of Protection to help safeguard the rights of individuals who are losing or have lost the ability to take important decisions.
Coles Miller’s specialist Court of Protection solicitors help people to defend their right to decide important health and financial matters for themselves.
Our solicitors also help families seeking to protect loved ones who have problems with mental capacity.
There are various ways in which we can assist, including powers of attorney and deputyships.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
These safeguards - part of the 2005 Act - were set up to ensure that people in care homes, hospitals and sheltered accommodation are not confined inappropriately with restrictions on their freedom.
They apply to anyone who is aged 18+, has a mental condition, lacks mental capacity and is in a hospital, care home or supported living accommodation.
The rules stipulate that those providing care must do so in the least restrictive way possible.
Do you have concerns about how a loved one is being cared for? Are they being deprived of their freedom? Contact our solicitors for more advice.
Need Help? Contact Our Solicitors Today
To find out more about how the Mental Capacity Act 2005 affects you and your family, Make An Enquiry, Request A Call Back using the links at the top right of this page or contact your local office.
Coles Miller’s Court of Protection lawyers include members of Solicitors for the Elderly. If you have problems with mobility, we would be happy to visit you at your home or in hospital.
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