In Asset Protection we’re frequently dealing with clients who are themselves or whose relatives are suffering from mental health issues – these often fall within the umbrella of dementia, defined as a chronic or progressive disease of the brain. This covers a wide range of more specific neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Alcohol Related Dementia, or Vascular Dementia arising from lack of blood supply to the brain.

The demographic in the UK is such that dementia as a whole will become a growing problem. In 2011 82,000 people suffered from dementia in Scotland alone. In the recent past mental illness has been something of a taboo subject, much as cancer was 30 years ago, but there is now a National Dementia Strategy is in place which encourages more open discussion on the issues surrounding dementia. The strategy identifies five key objectives and addresses these by concentrating on two equally important areas: improving support after diagnosis and improving hospital care. It also presents an additional eight actions which will continue to support improvements in care and treatment.

It’s important to remember that people suffering from dementia of any type still retain the same human rights as anyone else. Their increased vulnerability means that extra precautions must be set into place in order to protect their assets and keep their best interests at the heart of any care decisions.